1.2 Million People Get a "Taste"

City officials satisfied with revamped festival

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Chris Shields
    Three of the 1.2 million people who visited the revamped Taste of Chicago this year.

    City officials are declaring the revamped Taste of Chicago a success.

    An estimated 1.2 million people attended the five-day festival, which wrapped up on Sunday.

    Police say only four arrests were made at the food fest. This year's festival was shortened from its traditional 10 days, and didn't fall over the Fourth of July weekend.

    New features included 15 pop-up restaurants that only appeared for one day and the sold-out Celebrity Chef du Jour which featured celeb chefs such as Graham Elliot and Stephanie Izard.

    Tickets sales were initially slow for the $25 reserved seating at the Petrillo Music Shell, but officials say most of the concerts played to "near or full capacity in the seating area as well as the lawn."

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel led the charge to revamp Taste after it lost money over the past few years. Cindy Gatziolas of the Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events says they're still crunching the numbers, but in terms of what they budgeted, she "thinks they'll be OK."

    But at the end of the day, it all comes down to the food. Some of the participating restaurants reported the following gut-busting tallies over the course of five days: