Taste of Greece, a three-day cultural celebration held annually in September in Minneapolis' Uptown neighborhood, will not take place this year because of "recent unrest in the Uptown District," sponsors said Friday.

St. Mary's Greek Orthodox Church, at 3450 S. Irving Av., sponsors the festival, which features food, music, dancing and other celebrations of Greek heritage. The event had been slated for Sept. 9-11 this year.

The church said on the festival's website that "Due to the recent unrest in the Uptown district and the realization that we would be unable to find a successful solution to ensure the safety and security of our Festival guests, volunteers, and grounds, we have made the difficult decision to cancel this year's Festival. We have every intent of holding our Festival next year."

Protests and violent crime have occurred more frequently in the Uptown neighborhood since the June 3 fatal shooting of Winston Smith Jr. by a U.S. marshals task force in a parking ramp. Some businesses in the area have closed, citing uncertainty about the safety of customers and employees.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which is investigating Smith's death, has said little about it except that he discharged a firearm at the law enforcement officers who then fired back, killing him. A woman who was in the car with Smith at the time has said she never saw him with a weapon.

Minneapolis police and their community allies have sought to minimize disruptions in the area, but unrest and violence remain problems.