Tuesday, 14 July, 2020


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Aquanesia (Community Event)

An Outdoor Adventure Game Coming to Grand Rapids!


When: Saturday, September 29 and Sunday, September 30

Time: 10 am - 3 pm (choose a 2 hour time slot)

Where: Starting location: the behind Grand Rapids Area Library


REGISTER IN ADVANCE: http://aquanesia.lights.mn/

A collaboration between artists and local partners offers a unique opportunity for active engagement with city parks, trails and the Mississippi River.  

Aquanesia is a location-based game and performance set 100 years in the future in which players test their skills at different watershed-based activities to decipher a set of clues, which will help them unlock the mystery of how and why people are losing their memories of the past century.

As they navigate the landscape, players will encounter six activity stations where live characters such as the Beachcomber, the TaxiBoat Driver, the Carp Hunter and the Science Teacher will animate the fictional world of Grand Rapids in 2118. These characters will facilitate fun physical tasks, puzzles and challenges that players must complete to gain clues to solve the mystery of Aquanesia.

 To play Aquanesia, teams of 2-5 players sign up in advance for a specific time slot (Saturday or Sunday) through EventBrite on the Aquanesia website, http://aquanesia.lights.mn. The cost is $10 per team. Families are welcome! Game activities are most appropriate for ages 7 and up.  Playtime is roughly 2 hours. The goal of Aquanesia is to create a fun-filled activity that gets people outside to play, learn and reconnect with their city and its natural splendor on foot or bicycle. During the process of solving the game, players will become familiar with specific aspects of the local environment as well as general principles about a watershed and clean water. The intended result of the game is that players are encouraged to become ever-better stewards of their watershed.

Aquanesia is located in Veterans Memorial Park, Oakland Park and other play areas connected by bike paths along the Mississippi River. Players will begin their journey behind the Grand Rapids Area Library, 140 NE 2nd St. and return to the KAXE tent, 260 NE 2nd St. The game can be played on bicycle or on foot and the course is roughly 3 miles.


Aquanesia is developed by the Twin Cities-based arts agency, Northern Lights.mn in collaboration with Reif Center for Performing Arts and Itasca Waters, a non-profit clean water advocacy group in Itasca County. Dave Lick, President of Itasca Waters says, “We are pleased to have an arts group take interest in Itasca County’s wonderful water. Aquanesia is a fun filled educational medium that creatively draws attention to understanding our priceless waters. We hope you take advantage of this family oriented creative day outside.” 

“The Reif is a performing arts mecca in Northern Minnesota,” said Shantel Dow, Reif executive director. “A hallmark of the Reif experience is being surrounded by woods and two lakes. The environment plays a part in who we are and Aquanesia encourages community to recognize nature’s splendor and value.”

The community theater group, Grand Rapids Players, are helping to source actors to play the characters for the game. Selected actors will attend a training and are given a stipend for their time.  For more information about auditions, email: aquanesia@northern.lights.mn

 For players who would like to experience the game on bicycle but don’t have a bike, Get Fit Itasca will provide access to its fleet of youth bikes that come in three sizes.  The use of these bikes is free of charge and may be checked out and returned at the beginning of the course. Grand Rapids Community Bike share bikes are available on a first come, first-served basis for adults who need to borrow a bike. Bikes are available at 4 stations throughout Grand Rapids. More information at Get Fit Itasca’s website.

Funding for Aquanesia comes from an Arts Touring grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. Aquanesia is also being presented in Rochester, MN in October. 

For more information contact: aquanesia@northern.lights.mn