Authentic food, traditional music and hearty imbibing are expected at any German festival, but the Saint Paul Oktoberfest offers its own twist on the traditions you love.

From riding the Giant Slide to sharing a bucket of Sweet Martha’s Cookies (and this year, Sweet Martha’s is adding a third location) we all have a favorite fair tradition.

Since 1888, lake-area residents have enjoyed some sort of Fourth of July celebration in the Excelsior Commons area, says Laura Hotvet, executive director of the Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Chamber of Commerce.

Summer isn’t over yet, but merchants in downtown Excelsior are clearing the deck for new fall and winter products.

Take a 5k vacation by registering for the Color Run, coming to the Twin Cities on July 10!

For the enjoyment of locals and out-of-towners alike, Excelsior continues its beloved shop-till-you-drop Thursday nights in summer. Thursday used to be known as Girls’ Night Out; this year, the event series has been rebranded as Open Late Thursdays.

To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year, the Landmark Center is hosting two day-long events filled with music, dancing and food.

For more than 16 years, Saint Paul’s first poet laureate, Carol Connolly, has been providing a platform at the University Club of St. Paul for local poets and writers to share their work. Past contributors have included Heid Erdrich, Tom Cassidy, Ted King and Joyce Sutphen.

In honor of Black History Month, the Minnesota History Center will host a free talk on black baseball players and the hardships they faced during decades of segregation.

Combine delicious kosher foods from around the Twin Cities, with activities and programs for children and families, and you’ll have the 2016 Crossriver Kosherfest, January 10 from noon to 3:30 p.m. at Temple of Aaron.