Organizers of the Taste of Minnesota asked some food vendors to delay cashing their checks from food sales because there wasn't enough money to cover them when the festival ended.
'WILL ALL BE PAID': Some vendors got their money, others are waiting and some have deposited their checks but are on edge that they'll clear.
"The food vendors will all be paid," said Andy Faris, managing partner of the management team that took over the 27-year-old festival two years ago. "We are working through it diligently. We had money in escrow that we drew on, and we were waiting for proceeds on a weather insurance policy that had yet to come in."
The way it works is that patrons pay for food tickets and give them to the vendors, who redeem them after the event. Vendors said they usually get paid the day they turn the tickets in. That didn't happen for everyone this year.
Faris said the delay in some payments isn't an indication of a financial collapse. "We're planning on having a festival next year," he said.
LOSSES THIS YEAR: The event, held yearly in St. Paul on the July 4th weekend, lost money this year, despite an updated lineup of diverse musical acts and food vendors.
ATTENDANCE SLIPS: Total attendance during the four-day run on Harriet Island fell 20 percent compared with previous years, from the typical 80,000 patrons to about 64,000. The drop followed a sharp rise in the admission price -- from free two summers ago to $20-$30 this year.
Sweltering heat on Saturday and rain on Monday also appeared to keep some people away. Attendance was only about 12,000 on each of those days.