Best Days of Summer: Wednesday

This has to be one of my favorite days of Aquatennial! It is a full day but a day well spent.

Around the lunch hour, the candidates present a short speech for friends, family, and anyone walking by in City Center downtown.  At this "Meet the Candidates" event, each girl is required to dress up and give a 30-60 second commercial-type speech to the audience presenting a their unique view of their community.  Some speak about a favorite activity to do, what their municipality is known for, honoring the volunteers, or history of their community. 

In 2010, I dressed as a cooky Pippi Longstocking and spoke about how the community of Svenskarnas Dag is not defined through city limits but woven together through the rich history we share with one another.  It was a tricky speech to come up with as Svenskarnas Dag is the only community festival that participates in the Minneapolis Aquatennial that is not a location in Minnesota....just a bunch of fun Swedes! :)
Our candidate from Svenskarnas Dag did a wonderful job this year! It is difficult to present in front of a large crowd of people you know and DON'T know...
The creativity in the costumes are the best! The candidate from Hutchinson was dressed as a tooth because she has a goal of working in oral health.
I believe this was the candidate from Paynesville.  The only other Paynesville ambassador to participate went on to become the 2006 Queen of the Lakes. It had been 8 years since they had participated in this scholarship program!

With so many communities that return each year, it is amazing to see how each girl reinterprets her community to come up with a new presentation...equally impressive to see girls from communities that have never participated come up with something creative and original!
A quick snap with the girls from Hutchinson and Fridley.  Gina and Alyssa, the princesses that served as ambassadors with me, were from these communities and I'll always have a special place in my heart for Hutch and Frid!
After the eventful afternoon, we have to quickly change for the Lifetime Torchlight 5K.  Some years the race has been postponed because of the sweltering heat...participating this year with my expecting sister, we will have to take it slow and keep up on fluids!

What better way than a quick Pinkberry cucumber smoothie?! YUM.
The crowd was impressive! It was a beautiful night and I think there is no better way to take in the sights of downtown Minneapolis.  The flames reached into the sky and we were off!!

The streets are lined with eager parade-goers ready to cheer you on to victory, and at the perfect time of dusk, the skyscrapers are kissed by the golden glow of the summer sun. Quite picturesque!
Some of the folks walked, some ran, some hobbled....Emily penguin walked with baby bump in tow.

As we were passing Mill City Ruins, there was an opera being performed and was a beautiful soundtrack to the huffing and puffing! I ALMOST caught the aria on video....but we had a race to finish!
As soon as we caught a glimpse of the Stone Arch Bridge, we knew we are almost to that 3.1 mile mark! The stretch of the race seemed longer when taking it stride-by-stride...I guess that's why people run. :)
This race is like a sightseeing tour of downtown! All the best spots of Minneapolis right on the running path...

As soon as we arrived at St. Anthony Main, it was high time to get back to the parade to watch the Centerpoint Energy Torchlight Parade! It is like the Target Holidazzle of the summer.  Floats are adorned with lights to take on the coolest night in July...well, maybe not the coolest temp-wise!

As we had walked the race, we were running late on time and decided to rent a NiceRide bike.  Here comes our workout #2 for the evening! We made it back downtown in record time and just needed to find a bike return that we could access with the crowds of people.  Finally, we were ready to sit back and enjoy the show.  It is a fabulous parade and a great day to enjoy everything about Minneapolis in the summer.
Last year, Emily and I did the Torchlight race with Gina and we made matching race shirts. It has now become somewhat of a tradition to run the 5K before the parade...if you are going to be sweating in the July heat, you may as well be trying, right?