Here at St. Cloud Federal Credit Union, our focus is on helping you save your pennies while getting the most out of life. And frankly, at times, it can seem like everything fun costs money.
Well, central Minnesotans, during the summer months, that’s not completely true. Our area is teeming, week in and week out, with a ton of highly affordable community events and activities perfect for the whole family.
Today, we’ll give you a rundown of a few things to put on the calendar this summer!
SUMMERTIME BY GEORGE
Since it’s inception in 2011, Summertime By George has continuously thousands of people into the center of St. Cloud on Wednesday evenings for live music from beloved local musicians, food from area restaurants and vendors, handmade arts and crafts, and a whole lot more. The weekly outdoor festival happens each week through August at Eastman Park, more commonly known as Lake George.
If you haven’t attended one of these yet, not only are you missing out, but you’re rapidly becoming a minority! Last year’s final Summertime by George night pulled in a whopping 13,000 attendees. We figure this many people can’t be wrong - and at no cost, it’s well worth your while to explore Summertime by George!
MUSIC IN THE GARDENS
Here’s another regular musical outing in a lovely Mississippi River-side setting. Music in the Gardens brings talented musicians together every other Sunday afternoon near the Gazebo in Munsinger Gardens. Like Summertime by George, the tunes are free - and if you’re feeling decadent, you can snag a root beer float for a buck!
BENTON COUNTY FAIR
There are a ton of fairs to visit around central Minnesota, but for our purposes, let’s talk about the one closest to the St. Cloud metro area - the Benton County Fair. This is the highlight of summer for a lot of people, and it’s not hard to see why. The fair, held from August 5-10 at the fairgrounds in Sauk Rapids, has something for everyone: barns full of fun and prize-winning animals, great, classic fair food from local vendors, a talent show, live music and a beer garden in the evening and, of course, the fairway. Yes, we know the fair can take a chunk out of the wallet, so budget a little cash for the goodies. And remember - there’s no charge to walk around and people-watch! :)
We here in central Minnesota have something not everyone has - easy access to beautiful, natural places. One of these is the perennially popular Quarry Park and Nature Preserve.
As far as county parks go, it doesn’t get much better. The 684-acre preserve features a Granite reflecting pool, many miles’ worth of biking and hiking paths, some seriously fun trout fishing, and, of course, the beloved swimming holes that brave souls in our community leap into from high places! All you need is a day pass to cover the whole family - or, if you’re thinking about making a return appearance, you can snag an annual permit for the cool price of $16.
Well, that’s our short list of things to keep you busy - and in the black - this summer. And we want to know - what’s your favorite central Minnesota activity for summertime? Leave us a comment and let us know! Enjoy the season, everyone!