Attendance Down at 2010 Taste

Kathy Kaplan

About 700,000 fewer people attended this year's Taste of Chicago food festival on the city's lakefront and city officials said it's likely because the annual July 3 Grant Park fireworks were canceled.

Last year 3.35 million people attended the festival and this year attendance was 2.65 million.

Cindy Gatziolis of the Mayor's Office of Special Events says the July 3 fireworks would draw more than 1 million people downtown and to the festival. The city canceled those fireworks in 2010 to save money, opting instead to hold fireworks shows at three separate sites along Lake Michigan.

Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis said 55 people were arrested at the Taste of Chicago as of Saturday night .  He said nine people were charged with felonies.

Among them were three brothers who were charged with beating a family of four.  

"We had two to three hours on Thursday night that were a problem," Weis said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.  "The other nine days have been fantastic."

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