We knew attendance was off, but didn't realize that it was almost a million people over two years:
- Taste of Chicago could get shortened by several days next summer as city officials again retool Chicago’s iconic summer party.
The city’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events will run the Taste in 2012, after the Chicago Park District oversaw a 10-day festival this summer that drew 2.35 million people – 300,000 fewer than in 2010 and the smallest overall crowd since 1986.
- Richard Daley began changing it in his final years in office, following some high-profile acts of violence near Grant Park, including a fatal downtown shooting in 2008 after the annual fireworks show that drew huge July 3 crowds to the lakefront smorgasbord.
Starting in 2009, the grounds were fenced in and people entering Taste were subject to search. That year, 3.3 million came through the gates, down from 3.5 million in 2008, according to the Illinois Restaurant Association.
Attendance fell again in 2010, to 2.6 million, as the Grant Park fireworks extravaganza was ended in favor of three smaller displays spread along the lakefront.
Well, yeah, once it became "Thugs of Chicago" instead of the Taste. And the bullet through a tourist's hotel room. And a murder. And numerous shootings. And no fireworks. And mass market restaurants instead of the neighborhood joints that gave the city its reputation as a food mecca. It was only a matter of time.
Labels: city politics