In 1940 civic leaders in Minneapolis hit upon the idea of sponsoring an annual summer festival and from the very first the Minneapolis Aquatennial was a smashing success so much so that it was featured in Life and Look magazines and came to be known as America's Summer Festival.
In this book lavishly illustrated with more than 300 vintage photographs author Pam Albinson chronicles the festival's history and describes the myriad activities associated with it including rodeos celebrity appearances parades athletic competitions aeronautical displays art fairs a week-long series of swimming and diving performances called the Aqua Follies and the ever-popular Queen of the Lakes Coronation.
The book is rich in nostalgic appeal but it also offers a fascinating perspective on changing times as choral singing gave way to "happenings " canoe races were dropped in favor of high-powered speedboat racing and polka events were augmented by dance lines and disco. Essays have been included by the men and women who built the parade floats those who served as "royalty" in various capacities those who judged the Queen of the Lakes contests and those who won them.
Pam Albinson was chosen Queen of the Lakes in 1962 and has been dedicated to Aquatennial activities and lore ever since. She is the Archivist for the historical Aquatennial collection at the Hennepin History Museum.