One Tank Trips: Minneapolis' Stone Arch Festival celebrating 25 years

A look back at one of the oldest and most famous landmarks in the city

Laura Oakes
June 14, 2019 - 10:07 am

Getty Images / MONISHA MALLI SRIDHARAN

It's a Father's Day weekend tradition drawing thousands to the birthplace of Minneapolis.  In this week's One Tank Trip, WCCO's Laura Oakes takes us to the Stone Arch Bridge Festival of the Arts

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Today, an accomplished pianist and the neighborhood beagle enjoy one of the city's Pianos on Parade at the downtown edge of Minneapolis' iconic Stone Arch Bridge, as the city gets ready to celebrate one of its most iconic landmarks. 

RELATED: Follow all of WCCO's One Tank Trips here.

“It really was the place where out of town visitors, immigrants and others saw their first view of Minneapolis.  Crossing the Stone Arch Bridge, seeing the falls of St. Anthony and coming in to the Depot in Minneapolis,” said Dave Stevens who is site manager for the Mill City Museum, just steps from the bridge and the city's riverfront. 

Stevens told WCCO’s Laura Oakes, “The Stone Arch Bridge has become an icon both because it was built using really old technology, it looks like a Roman viaduct, and it was built largely like one.  Even though it was using steam locomotives, the height of modern technology at the time, all of the stones were lifted into place using human and horse power.”

And this year, the 25th anniversary of the Stone Arch Festival of the Arts pays tribute to the area's rich history. 

“The central riverfront is really the birthplace of Minneapolis.  And the area along Main Street where the festival takes place is the oldest part of town.  There are two of the oldest buildings still standing in Minneapolis.  The oldest brick building from 1855, now the home of the Aster Café.  And the 1858 Martin and Morris building is the oldest stone building in the city,” said Stevens.  

Spring is in the air! ☀️ Come join us by the river. And don’t forget about those Easter brunch plans—cafe reservations available at astercafe.com . --: @destination_northeast

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This weekend, that old main street will be lined with more than 200 artists, live music, food and drink, a new vintage and vinyl market and classic car show, not to mention an opportunity to walk the bridge itself, marvel at the Falls, and maybe tickle the ivories on the other side.

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