Taste of Chicago Shrinks to Five Days

Food festival to be held July 11-15

Major changes are on the horizon for Chicago's premier food festival.

The Taste of Chicago has a new date in 2012 and the duration will be cut 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 cite cost savings as the main reason for the changes.

"It's also much more feasible for the restaurants in that they'll only have to commit to a shorter period of time," Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events spokeswoman Mary May said.

The new date also means that the world's largest outdoor food festival will no longer be a tourist destination during the Fourth of July weekend.

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

The city also released dates for the rest of the 2012 festivals Wednesday.

  • 29th Annual Chicago Blues Festival -- June 8-10
  • 27th Chicago Gospel Music Festival -- June 21-24
  • 54th Annual Chicago Air and Water Show -- August 18-19
  • 34th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival -- Aug. 30-Sept 2
  • 14th Annual World Music Festival -- September 13-20
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