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MacKenna Trnka, 18, is scheduled to bartend this weekend at the Waconia Saloon, owned by her father.
“I’m nervous,” she said. “I hope I can keep up.”
Added resident Karen Ring, 60: “I’m excited that it’s here, but not excited about the traffic or riffraff it might bring.”
But merchants are excited about the exposure their city is receiving.
“We’ve done the V.I.P. hospitality tent at the Basilica Block Party [in Minneapolis] and the Governor’s Fishing Opener,” said Niall MacCafferty, operations manager for Lola’s Lakehouse, the local restaurant that will sell fish tacos and corn beef sandwiches at Taste. “But you can’t buy publicity like this.”
Waconia will go on with the fireworks display the Chamber of Commerce planned long before Taste arrived, with four nights of fireworks designed to light up the city of St. Paul.
“People in St. Paul will be disappointed,” said Kernal Buhler, Taste’s marketing guru. “On the other hand, this may be the greatest fireworks show anywhere for a town of 10,000 people.”
Until the gates open at 11 a.m. on Thursday, nobody can safely predict whether they explode beyond expectations or simply fizzle.
“A gentleman from Wisconsin called the office yesterday and said he’s gong to drive here to see Halestorm,” Maddox said of one of the featured bands. “So we know people are excited.
“I just hope this works.”
Paul Levy • 612-673-4419
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