On the Taste of Minnesota website, Mayor Chris Coleman welcomes guests planning to attend the festival, stating that he hopes we'll enjoy our stay in St. Paul. While there will be out-of-towners here this weekend to enjoy the free music and the fair food, I can't help but wonder if this is a playful dig at the Minneapolis residents who act as though the trek to St. Paul is an epic road trip. Well, I just did some Googling, and the drive from Uptown to Harriet Island is less than 15 miles. So if you hit traffic right, you're going to be in the car for around 20 minutes. And for those looking to avoid the coming RNC, this is one of your last chances to enjoy the fair city of St. Paul before the political chaos begins. Now in its 26th year, Taste of Minnesota will feature its usual street menu of fried foods; the Cajun-spiced cheese curds, lobster on a stick, and fried cheesecake are some of the more unusual items available. Live music includes local acts, a Christian music stage, and national has-beens that really aren't has-beens because they are still being, including the Zombies, R.E.O. Speedwagon, and the Chiffons. As usual, each night culminates in a fireworks show. Go to www.tasteofmn.org for complete schedule or call 651.772.9980 for more info.
July 3-6, 1-10:40 p.m., 2008