Make A Splash Into Summer

St. Louis Park’s “splash into summer” festival, Parktacular, brings new attractions and old favorites.

As summer kicks into high gear, St. Louis Park celebrates with its annual Parktacular Festival, bringing a string of event-filled days and nights to the community.

In its 21st year, Parktacular is the biggest festival in St. Louis Park. Festival president Amy Sundem says the event has done so well and is so loved because of how it builds community. “It takes a village to make this happen, but the village loves it,” she says.

This year’s festival will kick off June 15 with a senior dinner and Parktacular Senior Ambassador coronation. The dinner’s theme is “Back to the ’50s,” featuring an Elvis impersonator for the musical entertainment of the evening.

The coronation of new ambassadors initiates the beginning of a year-long commitment by members of the community not only to represent the Parktacular Festival, but to represent the St. Louis Park community. Ambassadors can be juniors (first- through sixth-graders), young adults (ages 17-22, at least a senior in high school) or senior citizens (ages 55 and older).

Ambassador program co-director Tammy McCanna says the program currently supports and sponsors nine ambassadors, educating them on the 40 developmental assets kids need to promote good citizenship and also giving them opportunities to put them into practice in the community.

“The festival celebrates all aspects of the community,” McCanna says. “The ambassadors are representative of that.”
 
Parktacular continues June 16 with the always-favorite block party. This year, the party will be held in the new recreation outdoor center, and is named (wait for it…) Rock the ROC.  The Dweebs will be featured at the 2017 block party concert, and admission is free with a 2017 Parktacular button.

The festival will continue over the weekend, with Saturday as the most anticipated day. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. the community can visit with neighbors at the business expo, grab a bite from a local food truck and bring the kids for Kidtacular attractions like fishing, rock climbing, face painting and balloon artists. Also scheduled is the popular Parktacular Parade.

New in the Parktacular lineup this year is Ecotacular, a kid- and family-friendly, green-living feature. Natural resources coordinator Jim Vaughan says the events hosted at Parktacular will take the place of the Green Expo that was previously held around Earth Day. Ecotacular will emphasize sustainability and ways to shrink the eco-footprint in St. Louis Park.

Saturday’s activities will wrap up with a free family-night concert featuring Jonah and the Whales in the Veterans Memorial Amphitheater in Wolfe Park. But Parktacular doesn’t stop there—Sunday brings a Father’s Day waffle brunch, sponsored by Boy Scout Troop 282 to top off the weekend.   

More Information

Most events at Parktacular are free unless noted, and all activities and details are available online at parktacular.org. This year’s festival runs June 15-18.
 
Thursday: Senior dinner and ambassador coronation ($15 per person, sign up online by June 10)
Friday: Rock the ROC with the Dweebs, 6-11 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (parade at noon), Jonah and the Whales at 7 p.m.
Sunday: Father’s Day waffle brunch ($7 per person at the door) 9 a.m.-1 p.m.