Preparations underway for Minneapolis Aquatennial fireworks show
The City of Minneapolis is taking its annual celebration to the skies on Saturday with an Aquatennial fireworks show.
West River Parkway from North Fourth Avenue to 11th Avenue South will be closed to traffic starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
“We have so many different activities whether it’s AquaJam, or the markets, or the live music,” said Mark Remme, the director of communications and research for the Minneapolis Downtown Council. “We have such a great crowd that shows up early, it really fills up the space from the beginning of the day.”
The fireworks start at 10 p.m. on Saturday. The Stone Arch Bridge was closed Friday morning as preparations got underway.
“The best place to view from is the west side of the Mississippi along West River Parkway,” said Zach Taminonsian, the show designer for Zambelli Fireworks.
He explained the pyro-musical will last 20 minutes, with songs picked from artists who performed in Minneapolis over the last year.
“We have this great skyline, this great backdrop,” said Taminonsian. “It’s really a great canvas to paint from.”
The Minneapolis Office of Community Safety told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS it’s been developing an Aquatennial plan for weeks. There will be extra law enforcement and first responders stationed in strategic locations.
“We bolster up staffing for weekends like Aquatennial and certainly you’ll see that again,” said Mayor Jacob Frey. “We’re going to make sure people are safe.”
According to an Office of Community Safety spokesperson, local and state partner agencies are prepared to help as well. On Friday, State Patrol said additional troopers will patrol highways around the Twin Cities metro as the celebration continues.
“We want people to see our squads and think twice before making a potentially deadly decision,” said Col. Matt Langer, chief of the Minnesota State Patrol. “The Minneapolis Aquatennial draws visitors from all over the Twin Cities. The high-visibility enforcement that is part of Project 20(23) will help keep motorists safe as they travel to and from the event.”
Event-goers are encouraged to take Metro Transit buses or light rail to the fireworks. There are free passes available from 8 p.m. until midnight on Saturday.
“It’s great to see so many people coming together as a community, that’s really what Aquatennial is all about,” said Remme.
The Mosely family plans to attend the fireworks. Robert Mosely’s dad celebrated a birthday earlier this month.
“I want him to just experience it for the first time with me,” said Robert Mosely, who is finishing his family medicine residency in Minneapolis. “I knew my parents were coming into town so I took some time off so we could experience it all for the first time together.”
They paused along West River Parkway on Friday afternoon to listen to live music, which was part of the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board’s Park Markets events.
“Just enjoying all the sights and sounds and getting some good food,” said Cheryl Mosely.
Her husband Art Mosely added, “This is our first time here in Minnesota. There’s so much art and culture here, we’re just overwhelmed with all of the stuff that’s going on. We’re looking forward to coming back.”