Kick off Fall with James J. Hill Days in Wayzata

With Labor Day (and summer) behind us, take a break from the craziness of back-to-school with festivities in Downtown Wayzata.

As we put away our white pants and grab our lined notebooks and number 2 pencils, it’s easy to think that the fun of summer is all in the past. Thankfully, the City of Wayzata begs to differ. This weekend, September 6, 7 and 8, the Wayzata Chamber and Presbyterian Homes present the 39th-annual James J. Hill Days. The festival brings together the lake communities to celebrate the city, have some great food and experience some fun activities together. The festival this year brings more excitement than usual. If you’re from the lake area, you may recall seeing antique photos of the Big Island Amusement Park—but you may not have experienced it in person. James J. Hill Days should satiate that desire with this year’s main event: a lakeside carnival, complete with Ferris wheel, bumper cars and a real midway. This year also kicks off the first-annual World Paddle Sport Championships, so grab your canoe, kayak or paddleboard and join the race on Saturday, Sept. 7 at 11:30 a.m. Don’t own a boat (yet)? As part of the championship, the festival also features a build-your-own-boat contest. Any entries can also race in the Paddle Sport Championship. If boating isn’t your thing, the Dachshund racing, Wayztata Art Experience or the fireworks are sure to peak your interest. Or, put on your dancing shoes and join in the street dance on Lake Street all day Saturday. Still not convinced? Don’t miss the biggest concert of the festival on Saturday night at the beach: country music stars Big $ Rich are gracing the Boatworks Stage after fireworks (make sure to get your tickets soon!) Join the lake community for one last summer hurrah! Check out for more information and a listing of all the fun-tivities.