ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — A decades-old tradition is heading back to the island next summer after a number of years off.

Organizers with the Taste of Minnesota have announced that the popular summer event will return to Harriet Island next Fourth of July weekend.

The event will feature the atmosphere of food, concerts and fireworks that characterized the event in the past and helped it emerge as the state’s largest free festival.

“We are thrilled to be back at work doing what we do best,” Linda Maddox, general manager of Taste of Minnesota, said Thursday morning.  “I am reunited with a wonderful team with a history of running a successful event for Minnesotans. We plan on having the festival in St. Paul for many years to come.”

Maddox managed the festival from 1996 through 2008 with her husband Ron, who co-founded the event in 1983. Ron Maddox died in 2010.

The summer festival went on hiatus three years ago after falling into bankruptcy following the 2010 edition. St. Paul had previously had a summer festival, including the Taste of Minnesota, for nearly 30 years prior to that.

“The original team behind A Taste of Minnesota has lot of integrity, and I couldn’t be happier that they’re bringing it back,” St. Paul City Councilmember Dave Thune said.  “This is very exciting news for our state and the thousands of Minnesotans who have such fond memories of the festival.”

Organizers say the event will be a little smaller than in years past, but will remain free.

After the Taste of Minnesota went bankrupt, Harriet Island introduced the River’s Edge Music Fest, which brought acts like Dave Matthews Band, the Flaming Lips, and Tool to the city.

However, that festival also ended up going on hiatus in 2013.

Next year’s Taste of Minnesota event will run from July 3-6.


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