More Than 1 Million Attend Taste of Chicago: Officials

An estimated 1.1 million people visited this year's fest

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Taste of Chicago was back in business Sunday. On Saturday city officials shut it down over concerns about bad weather. NBC 5's Regina Waldroup reports. (Published Sunday, Jul 13, 2014)

    Officials say that despite only being open for only four days this year, more than one million people attended the Taste of Chicago.

    An estimated 1.1 million people visited this year's fest, which wrapped up Sunday, according to numbers released from Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office.

    Weather Cancels Taste of Chicago

    [CHI] Weather Cancels Taste of Chicago
    Bad weather prompted city officials to close the Taste of Chicago Saturday. Emily Florez reports. (Published Saturday, Jul 12, 2014)

    “For the past three years, the Taste of Chicago has added new features to enhance the festival and attract new audiences,” a release from the Mayor’s office read.

    While the number is lower than last year’s 1.5 million, the festival was also shorter by one day.

    City officials closed the festival Saturday after heavy rain flooded the grounds to the disappointment of many fans and vendors.

    Josh Rutherford of Smoke Daddy estimates the business lost about $600 worth of meat Saturday.

    Eli’s Cheesecake had to reschedule the celebratory cheesecake ceremony, which involved a 1,000-pound, 6-foot-tall cheesecake, and officials estimate they lost thousands of dollars due to the closure.

    Officials said Sunday there were no immediate plans to reimburse vendors for money lost.

    “It was an act of God,” said vendor Emmanuel Abidmi. “Not much you can do.”
    Last year, officials celebrated an increase in attendance as 1.5 million people visited the five-day festival.

    While it’s too early to tell how the city did financially with this year’s fest, officials expect final numbers will be released at a later date.