Wild Rice Festival

This quaint festival offers unique regional entertainment and great family fun, making it a perfect stop for any RV driver.

Event information

In 1958 the Deer River community got together to commemorate their staple crop of wild rice in a multi-day celebration. Now called the Wild Rice Festival, it includes a full set of activities, entertainment, and food. When visiting the festival, you'll get to interact with midway rides and games, taste delicious grub from local vendors, and watch the great Wild Rice parade.

Get to meet the wonderful people of the Deer River area in at the local Flea Market that is hosted with the Wild Rice Festival. Here you'll be able to peruse a range of locally made goods big and small. For a small fee, you can also participate in the local raffle, giving guests the chance to win prizes. RV drivers can especially take advantage of the camping opportunities in the area when visiting this summer festival and set up in the community nearby.

Tickets

Admission into the Wild Rice Festival is free with a few caveats. Midway rides require tickets or an armband voucher. Pre-sale of these are usually reserved for businesses in the Deer River area. The armband voucher typically costs anywhere from $15 to $20 and allows for unlimited rides during the session.

A raffle happens both on Saturday and Sunday with winners often receiving cash. In order to enter the raffle, guests pay a small fee and given a button with a number on it. One of the Wild Rice Festival's sponsors, the White Oak Casino, gives a small bit of credit for button holders. For more information, look over the Wild Rice Festival website.

Transportation

Driving

Traveling to the Wild Rice Festival may bring you through or around Minneapolis. In previous years, the festival has been located the Harriet Alexander Nature Center just off of Dale Street North. There are several interstates in the surrounding area with motorists often taking either I-35E to highway 36 or I-694 to Rice Street.

Parking areas

Some parking is often available near the Dale Street Ball Fields lots, Central Park Elementary School, and the surrounding streets. Visitors with limited mobility may be able to find ADA approved parking at the Muriel Sahlin Arboretum lot nearby. Because of the limited space, RV drivers may want to leave their RV at the campsite.

Public Transportation

Official shuttling services are not provided as the majority of parking lots are within reasonable walking distance. If you have a bigger rig or do not wish to bring a tow vehicle, you might choose to take a private taxi service to the festival from your campground. The best spots to drop you off are either right next to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center or a block away at Transit Avenue.

Where to stay

Onsite

Space at the Wild Rice Festival is limited, so RV campsites are not available. Don't worry, though, as there are plenty of great choices in the surrounding area.

Nearby

RV campgrounds are scattered throughout the wider Roseville area, with a few of them near the local lakes and along the highways. Travelers can also check along the Mississippi River for campgrounds to the west of the festival. What these campgrounds offer can vary on hookups and other amenities, so make sure to check ahead of time.

Getting around

The Wild Rice Festival is mostly self-contained with guests usually able to get along the grounds with no problem. While the midway section is ADA accessible on account of its large cement pathways, the parts of the festival in the grassy areas might be a little more challenging to get to without assistance. Strollers and wheelchairs are permitted but anything motorized, outside of specific exemptions, is not permitted.

What to pack

Clothing

When packing for your trip, make sure to keep it light. The Wild Rice Festival is held during the hottest month of the year and there is usually a lot of walking involved. Make sure you include things like t-shirts, shorts, and a good pair of sneakers for a comfortable visit. Event participants may often be seen in Native American attire in keeping with the festival's theme and activities.

Gear

While some vendors may take a card, but some of the midway operators and others do not. Remember to bring some cash for use with the games, food, and souvenir choices. You may also want to bring a small bag to hold hats, sunglasses, and personal belongings you might need during the day. When choosing how you will enjoy the parade, remember that other guests will also want to be able to view the passing sites. At your campsite, you may appreciate having some family-friendly outdoor games and items that relate to any external adventures nearby.

Health & Safety

To protect yourself from high temperatures, make sure you have sun protection and plenty of drinking water on hand. Think along the lines of sunscreen, bug spray, and bottled water. Consider what activities will you choose outside of the Wild Rice Festival, and always have first aid and toiletry kit in your RV. Headphones may help little ones with loud music and noisy parade sounds.

Where to eat

Cooking

Cooking options can vary from site to site, so when picking a place to camp out in your RV, make sure you look to see what the property allows. Research what campsites support charcoal grills, propane grills, have electrical hookups, allow for open flames, or have fire restrictions. Travelers will find several stores within a 10-minute drive of the festival location in case you need to restock.

Restaurants

Hungry guests will find a host of options in the city if you're looking for food outside of the Wild Rice Festival. Quick Chinese and big burgers are available, while a stretch of sit down restaurants are also available. If you just want to pursue a few places to get ideas to try going west down County Road B2 W to the Rosedale Center.

Vendors

One of the main attractions of the Wild Rice Festival is the flea market, offering an array of local vendors covering an expanse of nearly two blocks. The items they sell are as varied as the individuals selling them with everything from homemade crafts, furniture, preserved food, and second-hand merchandise. Because of this eclectic bunch, it is highly recommended to have some cash on hand.

Safety

Security

The local sheriff's office provides a presence at this community event. When going to the festival, remember to keep an eye on your belonging as the management of the Wild Rice Festival is not responsible for anything lost or stolen. Remember to secure chairs and outdoor items at your campsite as appropriate for the weather at the time of your stay.

Weather

July is hot, with temperatures often reaching into the mid-80s. Night time is more comfortable with temperatures often dropping into the low 70s. Minnesota may experience a decent amount of rain during this time of year as well. Overall, guests can expect warm temperatures and may want to keep an eye on local weather announcements.

Medical

The Roseville and wider Minneapolis areas offer several hospitals and other medical facilities. A clinic is located on Interstate 35E, about 15 minutes southeast of the grounds. Northeast of the festival, near Rice Street and East Country Road C, you are likely to find a few pharmacies in case you need to pick up any medication.