Best Buddies Friendship Walk: Minnesota
Let's change the world for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD)
May 18, 2024
9:00 AM | Maple Grove, MN
The Best Buddies Friendship Walk is the leading event in the country supporting inclusion for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
Join 50,000 participants at 70+ Walks across the globe to support the Best Buddies programs in schools, workplaces, and communities. You’ll be making the world more welcoming to people with IDD — one friendship, one job, and one life-changing connection at a time.
Volunteers Needed! Interested in volunteering at the Friendship Walk? Please email Kai Walsh at KaiWalsh@bestbuddies.org
Important Event Information:
- Registration: All event attendees MUST register. It is very helpful for our planning team if you register in advance, however, if you are not able to register before the event, please visit the registration tent once you arrive to register onsite.
- T-Shirt Pick-Up: Every registered walker who raised $50 or more, gets a 2024 Friendship Walk t-shirt! You can pick up your t-shirt at the T-Shirt Pick-Up tent on event day.
- Route Details: The Friendship Walk route is a 1-mile paved path that requires walking slightly uphill in some areas.
- Food: A light lunch (sandwich, fruit, chips), snacks, and popsicles will be provided for free to all registered walkers and volunteers.
- Activities: You can enjoy face painting, friendship bracelets, a bounce house, Pound fitness classes, sidewalk chalk, a photo booth, yard games, music, meeting special guests, a scavenger hunt, and more at our event!
- Dogs: Dogs are allowed at Weaver Lake Park but must be leashed and owners must pick up after their dogs.
- Weather: We will walk rain or shine so please come prepared with sunscreen or umbrellas! If there is lightning, the event will be canceled.
Enter Weaver Lake Park from Maple Grove Parkway (formerly Dunkirk Ln N), drive down the hill and you’ll get to the main parking lot. The two rows of the main parking lot that are closest to the playground & registration tents will be reserved for accessible parking. Parking is free.
If the main lot is full, please drive to the overflow parking lot at Weaver Lake Elementary School (15900 Weaver Lake Rd N) where a First Charter shuttle will be bringing guests to and from the main event area. Please note the shuttle bus is not able to transport individuals who use a wheelchair, but we will have plenty of accessible parking spaces reserved in the main lot.
There may also be parking spaces available at the Weaver Lake Park Upper Playfields if you would like to park there and walk down the main event area.
This event is wheelchair-accessible and accessible parking is available. Portions of this event will include loud sounds and music. We will have a sensory tent available with noise-canceling headphones. Some foods contain allergens such as gluten. Allergens will be clearly listed at each food station and more than one option will be available. If you need access to digital versions of printed materials to be used with a screen reader, please contact us.
Best Buddies in Minnesota is committed to creating an inclusive and accessible event for all. If you need a reasonable accommodation, please contact Kai Walsh at KaiWalsh@bestbuddies.org. All requests must be made by May 13th. We will attempt to implement late requests but cannot guarantee they will be met.
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Saturday, May 18, 2024
Check-In/Registration Opens: 9:00 AM
Opening Ceremonies: 10:15 AM
Walk Begins: 10:30 AM
Party in the Park + Lunch: 11:00 AM
Event Concludes: 1:00 PM
Weaver Lake Park
8401 Maple Grove Parkway
Maple Grove, MN 55311
Mission Movers – Top Fundraisers
Going the extra mile for Best Buddies.
Be part of Best Buddies’ global movement of inclusion.
Every dollar raised directly supports local Best Buddies programs.
See the Best Buddies mission in action on event day.
Supporting Local Programs
Funds raised through the Friendship Walk benefits Best Buddies – the world’s largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Our programs empower the special abilities of people with IDD by helping them form meaningful friendships with their peers, secure successful jobs, live independently, improve public speaking, self-advocacy and communication skills, and feel valued by society.
The IDD community that Best Buddies serves includes, but is not limited to, people with Down Syndrome, Autism, Fragile X, Williams Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, traumatic brain injury and other undiagnosed disabilities.
Frequently Asked Questions
Every person who raises $50 or more will receive the official Best Buddies Friendship Walk t-shirt on walk day. It’s our way of saying thank you for supporting a more inclusive world and going the extra mile! Want to make sure you receive this year’s shirt? Get registered and start fundraising today!
First, thank you for bringing the whole family to support Best Buddies! As a family, you are raising funds as a collective unit (e.g. The SmithFamily) instead of as individuals, so the collective amount you’ve raised will be used to determine how many shirts you’ll receive on event day — the same “one t-shirt earned per $50 raised” still applies for family registrants.
For example: If you registered your family of 4 and you have $200 raised on your family page, each of you will receive a t-shirt when you arrive on event day!
First things first: Thank you! Your donation will count toward your child’s fundraising total, so they will be the one who earns the t-shirt. Want to make sure you receive one? Register to walk alongside them, make a donation of $50 or more, and the shirt is all yours on walk day!
We do! Simply bring it with you to the walk or contact your local Best Buddies office. Online donations are the easiest and safest, most secure way to give to Best Buddies, but either way — you’re making a difference!
Absolutely! Volunteers are vital to the success of the Friendship Walk, whether it’s assisting with event planning, day-of support, and more. Want to sign up to volunteer? Contact your local Best Buddies staff member — scroll up on the page one section to find more information!
Service animals are always welcome at the Friendship Walk! However, the allowance of other pets depends on the specific venue. For more information regarding bringing non-service animals, please reach out to your local Best Buddies staff member.