Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Rahm Defends Shortening Taste of Chicago

Festival to be held July 11-15 in 2012

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Mayor makes first public comments on new schedule for food fest.

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel made his first comments Wednesday about the decision to change the date and shorten the duration of Taste of Chicago in half.

The Grant Park festival will be held on July 11-15 in 2012, instead of the traditional kickoff earlier in the month.

City officials cited cost savings as the main reason for the change and Emanuel says he's following up on a campaign promise to look into revamping the popular festival.

"I think after 20-plus years of tinkering around the edges we're bringing fundamental changes to it, but I have all the confidence that people will continue to go to it," Emanuel said.

Taste has been held in Grant since 1980 and attracts more than 2 million people each year.

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