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Rising river forces Taste of Minnesota to move off Harriet Island

Posted by: James Walsh under Parks and recreation, People and neighborhoods, Urban living Updated: June 20, 2014 - 3:15 PM

A rapidly rising Mississippi River is forcing organizers of the Taste of Minnesota, which was set to return this year to Harriet Island, to find another -- drier --site.

Festival owner Linda Maddox, widow of Taste founder Ron Maddox, said Friday that officials with the City of Saint Paul have said they need to move off of Harriet Island. She said the city is assisting in the effort to find higher ground. But she admits the news has her scrambling.

"The festival is ready to go. It's portable to an extent," she said. But there isn't a whole lot of time to find an alternative. Maddox said she is hoping to line up something no later than Monday.

"Actually, we would like to know today."

Ideally, she said, they will find a site within St. Paul city limits. But she said they will take what works. "If we can't (stay in St. Paul), we can't," she said.

Cost, she said, will be a factor in choosing an alternative site.

Linda Maddox's late husband managed Taste from 1983 through 2008. Linda Maddox joined the team in 1996. Ron Maddox sold the event in 2009. He died the following year. The new owners filed for bankruptcy in 2010 and the festival came to an end. Linda Maddox announced last October that she was reviving the festival.

It was scheduled to run from July 3 through July 6. Musical acts Soul Asylum, Joe Nichols and Starship, featuring Mickey Thomas, are set to appear.

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