Mission of the Hopkins Raspberry Festival
To connect Hopkins by honoring our past, celebrating our present, and inspiring our future
Since 1935, the Raspberry Festival has been a celebration of Hopkins held the third weekend of July. The goal is to connect the community, support local businesses and promote Hopkins.
People of all ages from all over the metro come to participate in events, which includes entertainment, food and activities. We have a Marketplace fair, which is an arts and crafts event; a Raspberry Royalty coronation, where we select new representatives for the year; and a Grande Day Parade, which draws thousands of visitors to Hopkins.
The festival is run by volunteers, who work all year to support the mission and develop future leaders of the community.
How decades of Hopkins tradition began in 1935
With enthusiasm, the Hopkins Raspberry Festival began during the depression as a way to boost business in Hopkins. Art Plankers, a pioneer Hopkins food merchant is credited with suggestion of “raspberries” for the theme. About 75 Hopkins businessmen and farmers were organized and July 21 was chosen as the day to hold the festival, to coincide with the peak of the raspberry-picking season.
Jim Markham, editor of the Hennepin County Review, got the word out. Minneapolis mayor Thomas Latimer issued a proclamation urging all citizens of Minneapolis to “motor to Hopkins Sunday to enjoy the hospitality of the Northwest’s greatest suburb, to enjoy the entertainment and to have some free raspberries and cream with the compliments of Hennepin County’s famous raspberry growers and the progressive businessmen of Hopkins.”
By all accounts, the day was a success for everyone, especially the raspberry growers, who were assigned places along the curbs to sell theirs wares. Perhaps sales went so well because the raspberry mixed with the local libations, or so Markham said: “We used to call it the big berry bust in those early days.”
The Hopkins Raspberry Festival has become a Twin Cities institution, held in the middle of July. The raspberry fields are long gone, but the town has cause to celebrate anyway and so it does.
Reproduced with permission from Bev Ewing, author of Hopkins Through the Years. Photos courtesy Hopkins Historical Society.
1955 Parade and Rodeo
What were festival parade floats made of 50 years ago? How have they changed? Did you know they actually had a Parade AND a Rodeo in Hopkins 50+ years ago?
Hopkins Raspberry Festival Royalty
The tradition continues
Each year people who work or live in Hopkins have the opportunity to participate in the festival and can choose to run as Raspberry Festival Royalty. This tradition began at the first Raspberry Festival with the crowning of a Raspberry Queen and her court, who were all daughters of a raspberry farmers. Over the years it grew into a nine member Royal Family that includes three young women, ages 17-25, four children, ages 6-9, and two seniors who are over age 55.
Now we have a team of a Queen and Princesses who serves for an entire year traveling to other city’s celebrations representing the community of Hopkins and act as ambassadors encouraging them to visit Hopkins. While also spending the year developing leadership skills through a coaching and mentoring program facilitated by the Raspberry Festival Royalty Committee.
Hopkins Raspberry Association Board of Directors
The Hopkins Raspberry Festival Board of Directors, with the help of many other volunteers, works year round to provide Hopkins with the best festival possible. Please feel free to contact anyone on the Board of Directors if you are interested in taking part in the Raspberry Festival.
Executive Board Members
At Large Board Members