A Taste of Minnesota will be back this summer, but not in St. Paul. Instead, it is going west about 40 miles and it is expected that people from Minneapolis and St. Paul will follow.
The food, music, and fireworks festival is scheduled to happen July 2 to 5 at Waconia’s Carver County Fairgrounds.
It was last summer when the event organizer moved the event to Waconia, just days before it was to debut. It had to be moved because of flooding on Harriet Island, its longtime home in St. Paul. After weighing a number of options, that was the best decision for the event. Because the event received such a good reception, the event organizers decided they wanted to take it back to Waconia.
The event was founded by Ron Maddox in 1983. Initially, it was on the Capitol grounds before it moved to Harriet Island. In 2009, the festival rights were sold to an event marketing company that attempted to make the event a more upscale occasion. However, the up to $30 admission fees didn’t bring in enough paying customers, forcing the company to file for bankruptcy five years ago. They owed $1.6 million to their partners and vendors.
Ron Maddox passed away in 2010, so Linda Maddox, his wife, re-launched the event in 2014 and the event was a huge success, regardless of the sudden change of locations. It was the former event management company that last had the event in St. Paul. Although Mrs. Maddox planned on having the event there, the weather didn’t cooperate and now Waconia is the new home. Last year, there was only six days to make the move and they pulled it off.
For 2015, musical acts will be announced soon and the festival will be even more organized. Admission will most likely be free each day until mid-afternoon. The charge to get in will come later in the day at the gate.
It is expected that this year’s event will be another success and the arts and culture director of St. Paul has wished Linda Maddox and the event organizers the best of luck in their efforts. It was added that the mayor of St. Paul is always looking for new events and music festivals to add to the events that already happen in the city.
As for the company that had acquired Taste of Minnesota from the Ron and Linda Maddox, the bankruptcy was, perhaps, the best thing to happen to the event, according to some. Many people complained that the admission prices were too high for something that was once affordable to get into. It is not a surprise to some that the company had to file bankruptcy due to trying to get people to pay more than they were willing to pay, thus causing the company to go into debt. Now the event has been restored back to its original charm.