Taste of Chicago Will Indeed Take Place This Year

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Taste of Chicago will take place after Labor Day, pushed from its customary Fourth of July spot. The festival will remain in Grant Park, according to a news release from the city of Chicago.

The new dates are from Friday, September 8 to Sunday, September 10. This was a compromise as last week the city omitted Taste of Chicago from its list of summer events. Independence Day weekend is typically reserved for Taste in Grant Park, but this year, the city had a new event to work in: A NASCAR race. Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration courted NASCAR for a race through downtown Chicago. The NASCAR Chicago Street Race would take place near Grant Park, where streets are closed to car traffic annually to accommodate the Taste. As news spread of the double booking, a few members of the city council went public, questioning the city’s wisdom in scheduling the two major events at the same time so close together.

A black and white photo with a crowded street.
A photo from the first Taste of Chicago in 1980, on Michigan Avenue.
Courtesy of Eli’s Cheesecake

News also began rolling out that the city was considering moving Taste to Navy Pier, which is still near Grant Park. Navy Pier is typically a magnet for heavy traffic on weekends. Council members didn’t feel the move would solve problems with congestion and safety.

The race to judgment continued with folks worrying that Taste could be canceled entirely. But now, the city is billing Taste as an end-of-summer event: “ The summer doesn’t have to begin and end with Memorial Day and Labor Day,” the news release reads.

Of course, the new Taste takes place after Labor Day and closer to another major food festival. Chicago Gourmet is scheduled from Thursday, September 21 to Sunday, September 24 in Millennium Park.

Last week, vendors like Eli’s Cheesecake waited for some direction from the city. Marc Schulman, president of the cake company — the very one that furnishes festival attendees with frozen cheesecake on a stick — reminds Chicagoans that Taste of Chicago didn’t always take place in Grant Park. The first Taste took place in 1980 outside the Tribune Tower, north of the Michigan Avenue Bridge.

Taste of Chicago, from Friday, September 8 to Sunday, September 10.

Grant Park

337 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601 (312) 742-3918 Visit Website

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