This week's Taste of Minnesota, held for the first time on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis, drew an estimated 100,000 people over its two-day run and is being judged a hit by attendees and supporters alike.

Event spokesman Blois Olson called the festival an "overwhelming success" and said organizers Minnesota Festivals and Dispatch MSP, well-known for staging local events, will likely reveal plans for its future next week.

Already there are calls for a repeat performance. "The event went extraordinarily well and we want it back again," Mayor Jacob Frey said Wednesday.

The city's Office of Community Safety reported no major crime problems during Taste — a potentially important marker for Minneapolis boosters hoping to curb the perception that downtown remains troubled since the pandemic partially emptied it of workers and prompted a spike in violent crime.

"We have no reports of any significant violence or disruptions," spokesman Stan Alleyne said in an email Wednesday. "It was a great two days for downtown Minneapolis."

For Frey, the good news dovetails with his vision of downtown reinventing itself, in part, as a destination for fun. "People want to hang out in downtown Minneapolis," he said.

The festival, held Sunday and Monday on a three-block stretch of the mall between Washington Avenue and 5th Street, offered concerts, goods ranging from art to marijuana pipes, and eats from caterers, restaurants and food trucks.

City residents on bikes, suburbanites in cars and out-of-town tourists who happened upon the festival generally gave it high marks when speaking with Star Tribune reporters, even amid two days of oppressive heat and humidity when storms threatened the event but never materialized.

Organizers reversed their ban on bringing water and other beverages into Taste within hours of opening Sunday, a policy dictated by security protocols. Three people complaining of dehydration were taken to the hospital by ambulance Sunday, city officials reported.

Attendance — 60,000 on Sunday, followed by 40,000 on Monday — exceeded expectations, event officials said. Admission was free.

"It had kind of an urban State Fair vibe," said Steve Cramer, president and CEO of the Downtown Council, which used a $1.8 million state tourism grant to help stage the event.

Cramer said some of the grant money, approved this year by the Legislature, will probably carry over to next year, though he cautioned that a final accounting wasn't complete.

"In talking to the organizers, I think they're interested in coming back," Cramer said.

That the event happened at all in 2023 was a surprise to more than a few people. Taste of Minnesota had been dormant for seven years, and its heyday was even more distant.

First staged in 1983 on the grounds of the State Capitol in St. Paul, the event ultimately became the state's second-largest festival, behind only the State Fair. It moved to St. Paul's Harriet Island in 2003.

Always tied to Independence Day, and always featuring fireworks — which largely stood in for pyrotechnic shows sponsored by the city of St. Paul itself — Taste eventually began losing money as some of its longtime organizers left the event or succumbed to health problems. It eventually declared bankruptcy.

It emerged briefly in Waconia, in 2014 and 2015, but then returned to the stasis in which it had remained until this year.

"The organizers came into my office about four months ago, which is not a lot of time for such an event," Frey said Wednesday. "They said, 'We want to hold it in Minneapolis and we want it to be around the Fourth of July.' I think my first question was, of next year? They said this year, and I said, 'OK, let's get to work.' "

Organizers of the 2023 festival indicated from the beginning that they wouldn't host a fireworks display. As the calendar worked out, they were able to wedge the event into the holiday weekend while avoiding the potentially volatile nights of Friday and Saturday as well as the Fourth itself.