Taste of Minn. has new owners, new admission feeby Laura Yuen, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The St. Paul summer festival Taste of Minnesota has new owners.
The group, called International Event Management, is made up of high-tech entrepreneur Andy Faris and two friends, also from the Twin Cities.
The three men are promising to revitalize the 27-year-old Taste by improving the festival's musical acts, food offerings, and security.
One of the first changes you'll notice next July is that you'll have to pay to get into the Taste. The new owners plan to charge $10 for admission. But the fee can be recouped on food and drinks. Children's admission will be free with a paid adult.
Faris says he and his partners know the Taste has stuck around over the years for good reason.
"It is not our intention to reinvent the wheel here," said Faris. "The Taste of Minnesota has outlasted many what I would call 'pretender festivals' that only lasted a couple of years."
Faris would not say how much his group paid for the festival. They bought it from the downtown booster group, Capital City Partnership.
The festival will remain on Harriet Island. Taste co-founder Ron Maddox will continue to manage the event.
Faris' group also includes sales and marketing executive Dan Hare, who attended high school in Edina with Faris, as well as Minneapolis attorney Terry Moore.