The Taste of Chicago (mostly known as The Taste) is the world’s largest food festival, held annually in mid-July in Chicago in Grant Park. The event is the largest festival in Chicago. Non-food-related events include live music on multiple stages, including the Petrillo Music Shell, pavilions, and film performances. Musical acts vary from local artists to nationally known artists like Carlos Santana, Moby, and Kenny Rogers. Since 2008, The Chicago Country Music Festival no longer occurs simultaneously with Taste of Chicago as it departed the Taste of Chicago for its own two-day festival typically held in the fall. Rides are also present, such as a Ferris Wheel and the Jump to Be Fit.
In 2005, the Taste attracted about 3.5 million people with over 70 food vendors. Foods at the event include Chicago-style pizza, Chicago hot dogs, barbecued ribs, Italian Beef,Maxwell Street Polish Sausage, Eli’s Cheesecake, and a variety of ethnic and regional foods.
A record total of 3.6 million people visited the 2006 Taste of Chicago. Attendance for the previous record 10-day event, in 2004, was 3.59 million, with $12.33 million in revenue.
In 2007, for first time in its history, the Taste of Chicago was affected by a salmonella outbreak that affected over 700 people and led to the hospitalization of 12. The outbreak was reportedly traced to hummus served at the Pars Cove booth.
In 2011, the Taste of Chicago drew 2.35 million visitors, down 11 percent from 2010. Participating restaurants also made less money, $4.9 million, down 20 percent from 2010.
These lackluster statistics prompted several changes. The mayor transferred power over the event from the Chicago Park District to the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, the event was shortened to 5 days, and the dates were changed so that in 2012, the Taste of Chicago will run from July 11 to July 15.
In 2012, the Taste of Chicago will run for five days and have 36 participating restaurants. New this year, the Taste of Chicago is adding 15 Pop-Up Restaurants that will each serve food for one of the five days.
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Fees : Admission and events are free, but you obviously have to pay for food and drinks. Purchases are made by ticket only. Tickets are sold in strips of 12 for $8. Large items are generally 9-10 tickets, side portions 6-7 tickets, soft drinks 4 tickets. All daily restaurants offer a small