North Branch Midsummer Days festivities return for 2021

All of the familiar favorites, including the Carnival rides in Central Park, are returning to North Branch Midsummer Days, which will be held June 16-20.

The North Branch American Legion and Chamber of Commerce are bringing back the area’s staple of summer, Midsummer Days, for its 95th anniversary. The festivities will run from June 16-20 with events taking place in Central Park, the American Legion Post #85 and under the Legion Tent.

The American Legion has been working to plan the event, and despite the difficulties they’ve come across due to the pandemic, they say they are, “trying to do pretty much everything that we have done in the past, to the best of our ability.” The events will follow all COVID compliance required by the state of Minnesota and hand sanitizer will be at the gates and around events. 

Wednesday kicks off the festivities at 5 p.m. with the start of the Family Fun Show Carnival, which offers rides, games and food. From 6-10 p.m., $18 buys a wristband worth unlimited rides for the evening for “wristband night.”

Thursday’s events begin at 10 a.m. with Family Bingo taking place under the American Legion tent all day. Kids under 12 can play for free until 6 p.m. At the American Legion Bar, a meat raffle will be starting at 5 p.m. and the Carnival runs from 4 - 10 p.m.  

Friday expands on the previous day’s events with the Carnival opening at 1 p.m. and Family Bingo from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., followed by Coach Purse Bingo at 5:45 p.m. At 8:30 p.m., those who are 21 or older can gather under the Legion Tent for the street dance with free admission and featuring a cash bar and live entertainment by rock band Off The Record.

Saturday includes the most events, starting at 8 a.m. with the Midsummer Golf Tournament at the North Branch Golf Course. At 9 a.m., the Kiddie Midsummer Olympics will be held at the old athletic field on Grand and Elm for preschoolers through age 12, followed by the Kiddie Parade at noon, which will feature a red, white and blue theme. Free lunch will be offered by the North Branch Lions from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. in the Legion Tent, and afterwards will be more Family Bingo from 2 - 6 p.m. At 8:30 p.m., the Street Dance begins at the Legion Tent featuring the band The Farmer’s Daughters, for anyone 21+ and a $5 fee.

Sunday is the finale of the festivities and the Carnival opens at noon, followed by the Midsummer Parade 2 p.m., headed west on Main Street. Sunday night’s Street Dance is from 3 - 7 p.m. with free admission and live entertainment from Artisan and attendees of all ages are welcome. The Midsummer Days Raffle will be pulled at 4 p.m. under the tent. 

For more information about any of these events, contact The American Legion at 651-674-4810 or visit the North Branch Chamber of Commerce website. 

According to an organizer from the American Legion, pre-sale tickets are a great way to support the American Legion. During the pandemic, non-profits like the American Legion, VFW, and Lions Clubs have not had the same financial support as other businesses and supporting them through events like these helps ensure they can continue to provide their services to the community, such as scholarships and Veterans programs. Pre-sale tickets are available at local businesses throughout North Branch, Stacy, Harris and Almelund. A list of locations can be found on the North Branch Chamber of Commerce website.  

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