Taste of Minnesota organizers aim to learn from early missteps, build on success
Taste of Minnesota will be back in Minneapolis in July with some changes to ease congestion.
The two-day event featuring food, music and entertainment will return to downtown Minneapolis on July 6 and 7.
Last summer, when Taste of Minnesota kicked off, 100,000 people brought their appetites.
“We were kind of scared. We didn’t know what to expect at first,” Teke O’Reilly, Taste of Minnesota representative, said. “It was the first time in downtown Minneapolis then it was go time.”
This year the Taste of Minnesota will bring new flavor.
“We’re at least trying to double the amount of food vendors,” O’Reilly said.
Organizers said last year they learned a few lessons.
During a heat advisory, the city had to scramble to get free water-filling stations installed at the event.
“This year we’re going to be all over the water situation,” O’Reilly said.
Making it easier for people to get in is also top of mind.
Last year, there were only two entrances, but this time around they plan to have at least four to cut down wait times.
Another big change people will see in July is the location. Organizers are expanding the festival to Nicollet Mall.
The downtown council hopes it brings more people to the heart of the city.
“It’s really the main street of our state and it’s a place that we want to try to activate and engage all the time,” Adam Duininck, Minneapolis Downtown Council president and CEO, said.
Duininck said drawing people to Nicollet Mall has been the goal.
He explained safety has been a concern in the past, but city data shows crime has decreased downtown.
“To me, active streets are safe streets. So the more people down here, the more people feel engaged and part of the community,” Duininck said.
Duininck said the festival is a taste of what downtown Minneapolis could be year-round.
“It was great. We’re really excited about 2024,” he said.
Organizers said the admission remains free.