The Fourth of July is nearly here, so pack a picnic and start making plans because there's plenty to do in the southwest metro. 

A number of communities kicked off the fun early with events starting Tuesday, July 2. 

Here's a roundup of what's to come, ensuring the day goes off with a bang: 

Chanhassen 

Brynlee Ihrke

Brynlee Ihrke, 6, of Chaska, sported a colorful, patriotic hairstyle during the Fourth of July Celebration in Chanhassen.

The 36th annual Fourth of July celebration will be held at City Center Park. Fun will include a carnival, Taste of Chanhassen, games and activities, a petting zoo, pony rides, a street dance, Chalk it Up, the Summer Skateboard Series, a kids parade, business expo, fishing and much more. Visit ci.chanhassen.mn.us for a full schedule of events for July 2, 3 and 4.

Gearing up for the big Fourth of July parade in Chanhassen

The Fourth will conclude with fireworks over Lake Ann at 10 p.m. The Chanhassen American Legion Post 580, in partnership with the Chanhassen Lions, will be hosting free July 5 events including a bean bag tournament (2 p.m.), live music from The Amplifiers (4 p.m.), and MIW wrestling (6 p.m.).

Chanhassen Fourth of July is a four day event beginning July 2 in City Center Park
The Fabulous Armadillos have Chanhassen covered at the July 3 street dance

Chaska

Jonathan’s annual Fourth of July Celebration is a 50-year tradition with fun for the whole family. Morning activities include a 5K run and kid-friendly parade from the Karen House, 111000 Bavaria Road, Chaska, to the Kindergarten Center. Festivities will continue at the The Karen House with a bouncy house and slide, petting zoo, face painting, watermelon eating contest, live band, magic show and roaming magician, ice cream truck, popcorn, beverages, trinket bags for the kids and more.

Jonathan Association to hold Fourth of July celebration at Karen House

Deephaven 

A tradition in Deephaven since 1961, the festivities kick off in Cottagewood with a parade. Participants follow the same route taken during that very first parade, Deephaven Police barricades the streets and the Excelsior Fire District leads the multi‐generational parade of participants that include kids on bikes, tiny tots in strollers, teens on skateboards, human‐powered floats and patriotic pets all decorated in red, white and blue. Children's Park, across the street from the Cottagewood General Store, is transformed into a carnival grounds where kids play games for prizes, test their throwing arm at the dunk tank, and of course there is always a giant inflatable. Visit cottagewoodusa.com to learn more about this annual tradition.

Eden Prairie 

2018 OK 5K

Racers take off a the start of the Eden Prairie Optimist Club’s OK 5K on July 4. The event had between 50 and 60 participants, according to race organizers.

Enjoy entertainment, food, activities and more throughout the day at Round Lake Park! The fun will include inflatables, BMX Demonstrations, kids activities, giant games, food, vendors, a pickleball tournament, a 5K Fun Run, face painting, henna tattoos, street art, a karaoke contest, the Eden Prairie Baseball Association Firecracker Classic, karaoke from 5–7 p.m., trivia from 5:30–7:30 p.m., live music from Synergy at 8 and 10:30 p.m. and fireworks at 10 p.m.

Excelsior 

Excelsior Fourth of July 4

First nibbles: A petting zoo was included at the Fourth of July celebration.

The annual Lake Minnetonka celebration will kick off with the Firecracker Run and will continue throughout the day with food, music, fun and new this year, a Ferris wheel. Favorite events like the Sand Sculpture Contest, petting zoo and Water Street Kids Parade and Popsicle Social, ​culminating in fireworks over Excelsior Bay.

Increased patrols to catch drunk boaters on Lake Minnetonka and other lakes over July 4 weekend

Prior Lake

Twin Cities residents celebrate Fourth of July near Mystic Lake Casino

Fireworks were on display at the Rock and Rockets festival near Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake on July 4.

The Prior Lake Association will host its annual boat parade at 1 p.m. Thursday, July 4, beginning at Charlie's on Prior on Upper Prior Lake and followed by a fireworks display on Lower Prior Lake, usually after 10 p.m., providing excellent views from almost anywhere north or west of Lakefront Park. Head to Mystic Lake Casino Hotel at 5 p.m. for the Rock and Rockets festival. Celebrate the red, white and blue with G.B. Leighton, food trucks, cold drinks and summer sweets. Cap off the night with the fireworks show.

Shakopee

Fourth of July wagon

Four kids sit on a decked-out wagon in preparation for Shakopee’s Happy Birthday America parade.

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community invites the public to its annual free fireworks display at 10 p.m. at the Wacipi (Pow Wow) Grounds, 3212 Dakotah Parkway, Shakopee. Celebrate Independence Day with live horse racing and the Fireworks Encore at Canterbury Park. There will be fireworks shows on both July 3 and July 4. Enjoy fun Independence Day activities, face-painting and pony rides from 4 to 8 p.m. and live music from Boogie Wonderland. Fireworks will follow the live racing at about 10:15 p.m. Kids ages 17 and under are always free admission.

3rd of July fireworks at Canterbury

Last year’s July 3 fireworks at Canterbury Park attracted more than 21,000 spectators, and this year track officials are putting on a show of equal magnitude on July Fourth.

Head to Valleyfair from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. at Picnic Point for a Fourth of July barbecue. Enjoy BBQ favorites, a star-studded photo booth and more. Stop by Galaxy Theater to watch the world’s best frisbee dogs do tricks and stunts. Plus you can meet the pups after the show. When night falls on July 4, stay for an Independence Day event that will knock your sparklers off.

Wayzata

Fourth of July at Wayzata Depot

Join in the festivities at the 58th Wayzata Kiddy Parade and Mini-Olympics. Come and enjoy refreshments and appearances by Uncle Sam, the Statue of Liberty, Betsy Ross and Mickey and Minnie Mouse. All children should be accompanied and supervised by an adult. For safety, no battery or motorized vehicles are allowed. The Wayzata Fire Department will host the Mini-Olympics. Come and participate in relay races and other events. Kids ages 5-12 can participate and all children will leave with a ribbon. The parade starts at 10 a.m. at the corner of Park Street and Broadway Avenue North, Wayzata; the Mini-Olympics start at 12:30 p.m. at Wayzata West Middle School, 149 Barry Ave. N.

Know of an event not listed? Email information to Rachel Minske, rminske@swpub.com for consideration. 

Events

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