According to an article from NBC Chicago, the Windy City's famous summer food festival Taste of Chicago could be a thing of the past under a proposal from a city alderman. Ald. Bob Fioretti, 2nd Ward, entered a proposal to Chicago City Council to hold a hearing about the festival and ultimately decide scrapping it all together if it fails to turn a profit -- something the Taste of Chicago has not done since 2008.
Here are some facts and details about Fioretti's resolution and the issues surrounding the Taste of Chicago:
* DNAinfo reported that the alderman is requesting that the Committee on Special Events, Cultural Affairs and Recreation hold a special hearing to consider eliminating or further altering the event.
* In Fioretti's resolution, he cited problems with the annual Taste of Chicago, specifically declining attendance and the fact that the city has been failing to turn a profit on the event every year since 2008.
* The request is being backed by several other city council members in the City Council Progressive Caucus and Ald. Walter Burnett, 27th Ward, who serves as the committee chair, said he is inclined to oblige the request for a hearing, noted the Chicagoist.
* However, other Chicago politicians are reluctant to completely eliminate the festival.
* Ald. Patrick O'Connor, 40th Ward, said that the benefits of the Taste of Chicago go beyond profit and loss and serve as a showcasing event for residents and tourists.
* Ald. Leslie Hairston, 5th Ward, is sponsoring the resolution to get answers about costs despite her support for wanting to continue the annual summer event.
* Similarly, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been spearheading efforts to revamp the event and put it on the right track. He made the decision to cut the time frame of the Taste in half, moving it away from the Fourth of July weekend, and has called for reducing production costs as well.
* The city lost about $1 million during 2011's event. The loss increased to about $1.3 million during last year's event, despite the changes the mayor put in place last year.
* As for attendance, it peaked in 2006 with 3.6 million visitors, but then dropped to 2.35 million in 2011.
* According to the Chicago Tribune, the mayor told reporters after Wednesday's City Council meeting that he would remain committed to updating the Taste of Chicago: "I expect us to continue to make changes, and modernize and reform the Taste of Chicago so it better fits where we are today than where it was in the past."
Rachel Bogart provides an in-depth look at current environmental issues and local Chicago news stories. Currently pursuing her master's degree in environmental science, she applies her knowledge and passion to both topics to garner further public awareness.
- Politics & Government
- Cultural Festivals, Concerts & Shows
- Taste of Chicago
- Chicago City Council