Taste of Chicago 2012: Changes Announced.

Taste of Chicago 2012: Changes Announced.

Chicago, December 28, 2011.  With 2012 just around the corner, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events is getting into gear for summer. And it looks like they’ll be some changes made.

The Taste of Chicago is back in the hands of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs after a scaled down, somewhat anemic, run last season under the direction of the Chicago Park District.

According to today’s press release the scaling down will continue with the Department of Cultural Affairs promising a new look and new dates for much of the 2012 summer festival scene. The Taste of Chicago 2012 will be getting both new dates and less days.  The Taste, which until 2011 was the face of Chicago’s 4th of July Festivities for 30 years running from late June until July 4, has been fast forwarded to Wednesday, July 11th through Saturday, July 15th for the 2012 season.  It will remain in its longtime home in Grant Park on Chicago’s lakefront and admission will continue to be free. No information was released on its new look.  The release did say that “Taste will emphasize Chicago’s status as a “foodie” destination and feature classic Chicago favorites as well as offerings from Chicago’s new and emerging culinary scene.”

The festival will continue to highlight entertainment such as cooking demonstrations from noted chefs, and local and national musical acts.  The restaurants for 2012 will be selected starting early in the New Year.  Applicants can apply online at www.tasteofchicago.us beginning in early January.

In addition to the changes for “Taste”, the 27th Chicago Gospel Music Festival will  be undergoing a facelift for Summer 2012 with new dates  (June 21-24) and new locations. The 2012 Gospel Music Festival will take a cue from the Chicago Jazz Festival, providing free entertainment in several different locations, including Chicago’s Bronzeville, the south side neighborhood where the genre finds many of its roots. On Saturday, June 23 and Sunday, June 24 the event transforms the former Ida B. Wells public housing site, located on South Martin Luther King Drive from 37th to 39th Street, into a Gospel Music haven.

Dates for other large-scale City festivals include:

29th Annual Chicago Blues Festival, June 8-10.
54th Annual Chicago Air and Water Show, August 18-19.
34th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival, August 30-Sept 2.
14th Annual World Music Festival, September 13-20.


Leave a comment
  • fb_avatar

    Think Chicago is missing out on making money. Even if you charged $1 to $2 for entrance you could be making alot of money. People pay to eat the food, what is the difference of adding that to the cost of the food tickets. That would go straight to the city's coffers and they would keep lowering the amount they need to balance their budgets.

  • In reply to Barbara Sehnke:

    Not a bad idea--even with last year's lower attendance of 2.35 million--at $1 a head that would be a nice profit. I'll pass it along.

  • The big question the story doesn't answer is, WHY were the dates changed, and WHY was the event shortened from 10 days to five? Lousy reporting. Obviously someone forgot their 5 Ws and H

  • This "report" was actually suppose to be an announcement. However your questions are valid. From what I have been told, the event was shortened to save approximately $4 million and to possibly attract vendors who might be able to set up for a shorter time but would not have considered applying if the festival lasted the full 10 days. I will follow up and try to find out the reasons for the date change.

  • According to the Department of Cultural Affairs spokesperson Mary May, the reason for moving the dates of Taste to mid-July was "to balance the free offerings provided by the city over the warm weather months," May continues, "Blues is such a big part of June, the Air & Water Show dominates August…So Taste will be the prominent event in July.  Also, the five-day model allows more restaurants to apply, controls the operating budget for the taste, and allows a more flexible financial model so the Taste is an enjoyable opportunity for all the residents of Chicago without burdening the taxpayers."

    I will continue to follow-up on the Taste story as more details, along with the hours for Taste of Chicago 2011 are released. ckb

Leave a comment

  • Advertisement:
  • Advertisement:
  • ChicagoNow is full of win

    Welcome to ChicagoNow.

    Meet our bloggers,
    post comments, or
    pitch your blog idea.

  • Meet The Blogger

    Carole Kuhrt Brewer

    Arts, entertainment and dining journalist..

  • Follow me on Twitter.

  • Recent posts

  • Categories

  • Latest on ChicagoNow

  • Advertisement: