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Media Advisory
State of Minnesota

Media Contact(s):

Alyssa Hayes, Explore Minnesota
O: 651-276-8738 // [email protected]

Explore Minnesota, State Event Organizers Preview Summer Travel at MOA on 5/4

WHAT:    Explore Minnesota and State Event Organizers Recognize 2022 Festival and Event Comeback During National Travel and Tourism Week; Share Preview of Top Events  

WHEN:    Wednesday, May 4, from 10 to 10:30 a.m.     

  • Lauren Bennett McGinty, state tourism director, Explore Minnesota  
  • Junia Joseph-Benham, president, Minnesota Festivals and Events Association
  • Renee Alexander, deputy general manager, Minnesota State Fair
  • Dean Orton, president, Twin Cities in Motion (Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon)
  • Dot Belstler, executive director, Twin Cities Pride 

WHERE:      Mall of America, First Floor, North Atrium 

                      Location specifics: enter MOA North Entrance, then veer right until you see the all-new Minnesota mural designed by Adam Turman


  • Minnesota festivals and events are making a big return in 2022, with many celebrating milestone anniversaries like Mall of America's 30th Birthday, the 50th Annual Twin Cities Pride Festival, the 40th Anniversary of Twin Cities Marathon, the 50th Annual Water Ski Days in Lake City and the 100th Birthday of Judy Garland in Grand Rapids, to name a few.
  • State tourism director Lauren Bennett McGinty will report on the 2022 summer travel outlook, the return of events and milestone celebrations in every corner of the state, and how Explore Minnesota supports hundreds of communities through crisis grants, partnerships, and inspiring travel marketing efforts. Highlights will include:   
    • How many travelers are expected to hit the road this season, including what percentage are planning to add Minnesota fairs, festivals, and events to their itineraries.
    • How Explore Minnesota supports hundreds of communities and events as the state's $16 billion tourism industry recovers from $14 billion in travel spending losses since January 2020.
  • The event coincides with National Travel and Tourism Week (May 1-7, 2022), an annual celebration that spotlights the collective strength of the U.S. Travel industry
    • National travel spending is down nearly $755 billion over the last two years — much of which is driven by the hard-hit event, international inbound and business meetings sectors.


  • Media/camera setup time: 9:30 to 10 a.m.   
  • Learn more about Minnesota's festivals and events at
  • Tune into National Travel and Tourism Week on social media using #NTTW22 and #FutureofTravel