The Taste of Minnesota going strong in new spot

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The Taste of Minnesota is finding success in a new location after Mother Nature almost caused the Fourth of July festival to cancel.

WCCO reports that the crowds have been strong following the festival's switch to the Carver County Fairgrounds in Waconia; organizers said the event has gone so well that some vendors ran out of food and had to call for more.

The Taste of Minnesota moved 40 miles west from Harriet Island in St. Paul because of flooding along the Mississippi River. It's the first time the food and music festival has been held in three years.

KSTP reported that Waconia mayor Jim Nash estimated a crowd of 25,000 to 30,000 people kicked off the opening day of the festival on Thursday. He said that other businesses in the west metro community, from bars to gas stations, have gotten a bump from the visitors.

Nash said he would like to see the venue switch be more than a temporary one.

"Last night, as I was gibing a welcome speech to the crowd here, I apologized to Mayor Coleman in St. Paul because we intend to take his festival," Nash said. "So I would say the community is very interested in keeping Taste of Minnesota here."

WCCO's story said that organizers plan to return to Harriet Island next year.

The Taste of Minnesota continues through Sunday.

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