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Taste of Minnesota returns to Waconia this year

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The Taste of Minnesota, the annual Fourth of July weekend food and music festival, will be held at the Carver County Fairgrounds in Waconia again this year, organizers announced Monday.

The Taste of Minnesota's traditional home on Harriet Island in St. Paul became unusable last year when much of it was submerged under floodwaters from the Mississippi River.

Organizers scrambled at the last minute to find another venue, and ended up choosing the fairgrounds in Waconia, which is about 45 miles west of downtown St. Paul.

Reports from last year indicated the festival did very well in the west metro location in terms of attendance, and the mayor of Waconia said at the time he hoped the Taste would remain in his community beyond just the one year.

“We received a very warm welcome in Waconia last year when we were in urgent need of a new home,” said Linda Maddox, general manager of A Taste of Minnesota. “After carefully evaluating St. Paul and other venue options for 2015, we decided to return to Waconia.”

Maddox added she will "always appreciate the St. Paul roots of A Taste of Minnesota," but that Waconia is an ideal place for the festival to grow.

The Taste of Minnesota was a Fourth of July weekend tradition for many years, but the festival had not been staged since 2010 after its owners declared bankruptcy.

The event came back in 2014 after a three-year absence. Linda Maddox is the widow of the event’s founder Ron Maddox.

Maddox said more details about the festival, including musical acts, will be announced in the spring.

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