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Taste of Minnesota coming back to St. Paul

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Three years after declaring bankruptcy, the Taste of Minnesota food and music festival is returning to St. Paul in the summer of 2014, the Pioneer Press reports.

Taste organizers will be joined Thursday morning by Linda Maddox, the widow of the event founder Ron Maddox, to formally announce the return of the celebration to Harriet Island.

Unlike the last year of the festival in 2010, where admission prices of $20-$30 were charged, the celebration will be free to attend once again.

According to St. Paul City Council member Dave Thune, the festival has found a "good financial partner" and will be back with original management. More details will be revealed Wednesday.

The return of the festival doesn't come as a complete surprise. Minnesota Public Radio says that Linda Maddox and festival organizers inquired about space at the State Capitol grounds earlier this year.

Ron Maddox, who died of complications of a stroke at age 72 in 2010, started the free festival on the grounds of the Minnesota State Capitol in 1983. It ran there until 2003 when it moved to Harriet Island.

International Event Marketing LLC acquired Taste of Minnesota in 2009 and ran the event in 2010 before declaring bankruptcy and $1.6 million in debts, the Pioneer Press says.

The Taste of Minnesota annually featured big-name national acts along with dozens of food vendors.

In 2009, more than 40 vendors set up shop at the festival while the entertainment included Sammy Hagar, Counting Crows and the Gin Blossoms.

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