City Hands Taste of Chicago To Park District

By aaroncynic in News on Feb 11, 2011 2:00PM

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Photo by DPatGrady
Even though just three days ago Daley was still looking to privatize Taste of Chicago, the city has decided to turn the reigns to the festival over to the Park District. By doing so, the city hopes to still save cash while keeping Chicago's biggest food orgy free to the masses. Chicago Park District General Superintendent Timothy Mitchell said via press release “Mayor Daley has stressed the importance of keeping the Taste of Chicago free with no admission fee, especially during these tough economic times. Our goal is to do just that while also ensuring that the Taste remains economically viable.”

In order to cut costs, four of Chicago's annual music festivals - the Country Music Festival, Celtic Fest, the Gospel Festival and Viva Chicago will be rolled into Taste, instead of operating as stand alone events. In addition, the Park District will “scale back the emphasis on big musical acts” and get “back to its roots as a family-oriented celebration of food.” According to Dorothy Coyle, First Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, the four events have seen declining attendance, a lack of sponsorship and low sales.

The new approach to the Taste will not affect Blues or Jazz Fests, and Chicago will still continue concerts and other events in Millennium Park. The Taste of Chicago will run this year from Friday, June 24th through Sunday, July 3rd.