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Attendance Flags At Shortened Taste

By Chris Bentley in Food on Jul 16, 2012 7:20PM

Photo Credit: Nima Taradji
About 1.2 million people went to this year’s Taste of Chicago, confirming predictions that attendance would suffer at the shortened event — that’s less than half the crowd seen last year, which saw the festival’s lowest attendance in 25 years.

The low turnout should not be a shock. The Emanuel administration shortened the festival from 10 days to five and moved the festival from its typical slot around Independence Day.

Evidently Asian carp sliders did not have us clamoring for entry. Or maybe it was the absence of BBQ turkey legs that suppressed our appetites. Eli’s still sold 18,000 slices of cheesecake, according to sale figures reported by the Sun-Times, but that’s down from more than 50,000 last year.

Last year’s attendance, 2.35 million people, was down 10 percent from 2010. Record attendance was 3.6 million in 2006 and 2007.