Much like the dew on the new blossom marks the beginning of spring, for many Minnesotans, Grand Old Day marks the start of summer. Or at least the summer festival season. It is, in fact, the largest one-day festival in the Midwest, as approximately 225,000 hearty souls walked the 30 blocks of festival on Grand Avenue last year. Starting in 1974, proceeds raised each year have benefited the Grand Avenue Business Association, which provides support and beautification to Grand Avenue shops. And while it's hard to worry about stores like J.Crew and Pottery Barn, it's nice to know that the Red Balloon Bookshop and Wet Paint Artists' Materials are getting some love, too. Activities each year include live music (mostly local acts), State Fair-quality foods (meaning awesomely fried into oblivion), a parade, sporting events, and street performers (be sure to check out the jugglers on stilts). As with any festival, sometimes the best times come from watching people in the crowd, so bring a cooler full of beer and camp out. This year's festival is Sunday, June 3.