Hopkins Raspberry Festival
Established in 1935 in the town known as “The Raspberry Capital of the World” Hopkins, Minnesota, the Hopkins Raspberry Festival began as a way to boost business during the Great Depression. Art Plankers, a pioneer Hopkins food merchant is credited with suggestion of “raspberries” for the theme. About 75 Hopkins businessmen and farmers were organized and July 21 was chosen as the day to hold the festival, to coincide with the peak of the raspberry-picking season. The Hopkins Raspberry Festival volunteers are still dedicated to connecting the community through days of celebration mid-July and all year long with their Raspberry Leadership Program.
The Mainstreet Foundation was established in 2012 as the non-profit entity of the Hopkins Raspberry Festival. The mission of the foundation is to support educational opportunities and growth for all ages in Hopkins and the surrounding communities. Currently, it supports the Hopkins Raspberry Festival Leadership Workshop and Royalty Program.
The Mainstreet Foundation
Each year young women between the ages of 17 and 25 have the opportunity to participate in the festival and can choose to run for the Raspberry Festival Royalty. This tradition began at the first Raspberry Festival with the crowning of a Raspberry Queen and her court, who were all daughters of a raspberry farmers. The Royalty serves for an entire year, traveling to other city’s celebrations representing the community of Hopkins, and act as ambassadors encouraging them to visit Hopkins. They also have a continued leadership training experiences with The Mainstreet Foundation Board of Directors where they do monthly training meetings, book studies, and have opportunities to put these skills to use by completing a Crown Project.