The Taste of Chicago is an annual event at Grant Park in downtown Chicago. The festival takes place usually the last week of June through the first week in July. More than 50 local restaurants come out to prepare their best dishes. No matter what type of cuisine you are looking for, you will be able to find it here from American to Thai.
There are three stages of music that feature Chicago area artists. Other stages show cooking demonstrations from the city’s best-known chefs. There are also things for children, including face painting, amusement rides, and interactive games. On the 3rd of July, there is usually a fireworks display over the Chicago Harbor.
Admission to the event is free. To sample the different dishes, you need to purchase tickets and use these for transactions – vendors do not accept cash. In years past, they have sold tickets in sheets of 12 for 8. The number of tickets needed for food ranges is based on size, but all restaurants offer sample portions for 2-3 tickets.
The concerts on all three stages are free of charge. The Petrillo Music Shell is where larger and more well-known acts perform. There is limited seating, and they fill up quickly, but with a large screen telecasting the show, lawn seats still offer an excellent view. In years past, such national artists like Santana, The Steve Miller Band, and Natalie Cole have performed.
The Taste of Chicago was first held in 1980 and was just a one-day event. The festival now is Chicago’s most popular festival and attracts millions of visitors each year for the ten-day event. Because of its popularity, other cities across the United States have followed suit with their own Taste festivals, but none compare to the original!