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City To Keep Taste Of Chicago Changes In Place For 2013

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Sep 23, 2012 4:00PM

The crowd for Death Cab for Cutie at Taste of Chicago 2012. (Photo credit: Jason Fowler)

Mayor Rahm Emanuel must have liked enough of the changes the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events made to this year’s Taste of Chicago, because those changes are staying in place next year.

Taste of Chicago 2013, according to the Sun-Times, will still run five days in mid-July, feature special sit-down dinners from name chefs for an extra fee and charge for concert seating at the Petrillo Band Shell.

City Office of Budget and Management spokeswoman Kathleen Strand told the Sun-Times the city was able to stop enough of the bleeding from previous Tastes with this year’s changes that they believe the new template is one that can work for the future.

“We are still in the early planning stages but, I can confirm … that we will be repeating the new policy of selling concert seating at the Taste and the Celebrity Chef du Jour next year because they were successful” with no change in those fees.

A combined $280,650 was earned between the chef du jour dinners and concerts, but while most of the dinners sold out the concerts have proven to be a tough sell, given all of the free lawn seating. Attendance for Taste of Chicago 2012 was 1.2 million for the five days. That was a 5,000 per day increase over the 10-day Taste of Chicago 2011 numbers.