Taste of Chicago 2009 is Chicago's biggest event. Getting its start as a modest food festival on the Fourth of July in 1980, the Taste of Chicago has grown to be the world's largest outdoor food fest -- a gastronomical extravaganza attracting upwards of 3 million people each year.
Grant Park -- north/south between Monroe Avenue and Balbo Drive, east/west between Michigan Avenue and Lake Shore Drive.
Taste of Chicago Dates: June 26 through July 5, 2009
11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. (the festival closes at 9:30 p.m. on July 3 and 4, 6:00 p.m. on July 5)
Admission and events are free, but you obviously have to pay for food and drinks. Purchases are made by ticket only. Tickets are sold in strips of 12 for $8. Large items are generally 9-10 tickets, side portions 6-7 tickets, soft drinks 4 tickets. All daily restaurants offer a small "Taste" portion for 2-3 tickets -- a great way to sample a large variety of all the food available.
Getting to Taste of Chicago By Public Transportation:
CTA bus lines #145 or #151 to Monroe/Michigan stop. Grant Park is also a short walk east from Loop Red and Blue line subway stops.
Parking at Taste of Chicago:
There is no parking on festival grounds, but there are several nearby garages: Parking garages are located at the Millennium Park Garage accessed on Columbus between Randolph and Monroe, the Monroe Street Garage at Monroe & Columbus, and the Grant Park garage with entrances at Michigan and Madison or Michigan and Randolph.
Independence Eve Fireworks:
Fireworks at the Taste of Chicago are not held on the traditional Fourth of July, but rather the night before on July 3. The Chicago fireworks are a spectacular display of over 5,000 aerial devices and shells. Festivities kick off at 7:30 p.m. with a performance by the Grant Park Orchestra at the Petrillo Music Shell, with the fireworks display beginning at 9:30 p.m. Over one million people attend Chicago's Independence Eve fireworks, so plan on plenty of extra time coming and going.
An introduction to Taste of Chicago: The latest iteration of Chicago's largest outdoor food and music festival will feature a new layout, fewer vendors, a renewed focus on health and a strong sense of value.
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