Taste of Minnesota

Founded in 1983 by Ron Maddox (sometimes referred to as St. Paul’s last “Chicago-style” politician), the Taste of Minnesota food and music festival, held annually over the Fourth of July weekend, started out at the Minnesota State Capitol grounds (above) before moving to Harriet Island in 2004. Often billed as Minnesota’s “largest free festival”, it featured a variety of food stands run by local restaurants and sponsored several musical headliners (mostly classic rock from the 1970s and ’80s) to draw visitors to the event. There were also free fireworks displays in the evenings.

Unfortunately, in 2010, the festival filed for bankruptcy and went on a 3-year hiatus. It returned briefly in 2014, moving from its longtime home at St. Paul’s Harriet Island Regional Park to the Carver County Fairgrounds in Waconia, Minnesota. However, this final change in venue led to a severe decline in attendance. After the 2015 festival, the Taste of Minnesota was finally disbanded after over 30 years.

  • Attended: Minnesota State Capitol (America, July 1999; Blood, Sweat & Tears / Blondie, July 2002)
  • Attended: Harriett Island Regional Park (2004)

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