Summers in White Bear Lake wouldn’t be complete without stopping by the fun events offered at Manitou Days and Marketfest. The festival fun kicks off on June 16 with live music, food and vendors brought to downtown White Bear Lake for Marketfest. Each Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m., two stages feature big acts like Katy Vernon, Hornucopia, and the Mary Jane Alm Band, as well as local talent from White Bear Lake karate classes, dance centers and other local singers. Director Deb Stender is proud of the community feel that’s generated each year. “People run into neighbors and friends and people they went to school with,” she says. “It’s like mini-reunions every week.” Marketfest also features a classic-car show, a petting zoo, a climbing wall and inflatables for the kids. “I think what we’re most proud of is the fact that it’s an event appealing to all ages,” says Stender.
The next day, folks can head downtown for the Manitou Days Parade, a highlight of the festival each year, according to volunteer Lisa Beecroft. Manitou Days runs from June 16 to July 4, featuring around 60 events, and culminating with a spectacular fireworks show over the lake. This year’s theme is Musical Bears, so festival goers can expect singing, dancing and other music-related activities. Other events include the annual farmers market and the medallion hunt featuring a $1,000 prize. Regardless of which events catch your eye, you’re sure to have a grand time in White Bear Lake this summer.