There weren't as many tasters in Grant Park this summer. Perhaps a rainy Fourth of July played a role in keeping attendance down at the year's Taste of Chicago.
Officials say more than 3.3 million people showed up for the 10-day festival, but that's down from 3.5 million last year. That's about 6 percent fewer attendees in 2009.
Before Sunday's sunny closing day, attendees who weren't scared off by weather were treated to not only delicious local fare, but a collection of great perfomances, including a hometown blues sensation Buddy Guy, The Waco Brothers, The Afrodisiacs, and The Counting Crows.
They are all great acts, but not quite the same caliber as previous years: Sheryl Crowe and Erykah Badu in 2003, Melissa Etheridge in 2004, John Mayer in 2007, Chaka Khan and Stevie Wonder in 2008, to name a few.
So was it the lineup? Not our call.
Even organizers don't blame this year's downturn all on the weather. The sluggish economy likely played a role, as well.
Police say an increased presence in Grant Park helped keep things relatively safe and orderly, with about 30 arrests reported in the course of the event.
Safe, orderly and slightly soggy. The show must go on.
Send your Taste of Chicago pictures for our collection to iSee@nbcchicago.com
What do 3.3 million people eat during a festival centered on food? A lot.
Here's some numbers, provided to us by the City of Chicago:
Corn on the cob
135,760 ears of corn
Gator Sausage on a Stick
Homemade Potato Chips
Mustard Fried Catfish
Prime Rib Quesadilla