Taste of Chicago 2011 Served Family Friendly Fun for All Ages
An estimated 2.35 million visitors enjoyed a more family-friendly version of The Taste of Chicago this year where visitors sampled food from 59 restaurants and enjoyed cooking demonstrations, live music, family activities and much more. Approximately 4,500 jobs were created as a result of the event, with individuals serving as cooks, cashiers, entertainers and more.
Preliminary reports by the Chicago Police Department indicate that there were almost 50 percent fewer arrests this year, a 20 percent decrease in citations for soliciting, panhandling and/or peddling without a license, and zero incidents reported involving illegal weapons.
""Every year millions of people enjoy the Taste of Chicago, creating jobs and generating economic activity for our great city,"" said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. ""We could not attract people from across the globe without the hard work of our public safety officials.""
In addition to food and music, this year’s Taste of Chicago featured a wide range of activities targeted to children and families. Chicago’s own Midnight Circus performed four daily shows of high-flying, gravity defying acrobatics and over the top theatrics.
Target debuted the world’s largest sandbox with more than 44,000 pounds of sand at The Playground. The Playground also featured activities for kids and parents alike as well as the opportunity to work off calories by participating in daily sports, fitness and dance demonstrations.
Food enthusiasts were also happy, consuming 20,000 cheeseburgers and 120,000 turkey legs among other popular items.
Following are a few highlights of how much food was consumed by several vendors during Taste of Chicago 2011:
Billy Goat Tavern/Cheeseburger/20,000 served
BJ’s Market and Bakery/Mustard Fried Catfish/11,100 lbs
Carbon/Steak Tacos/30,000 served
Churro Factory/Funnel Cakes/30,000 served
Dominick’s/Pineapple Bites/7,200 served
Eli’s Cheesecake/Original Cheesecake/50,000 slices
Gold Coast Dogs/Chicago Style Hot Dogs/11,800 served
Guey Lon/Orange Chicken/20,000 served
Hashbrowns/Sweet Potato Fries/3,000 lbs
Home Run Inn/Sausage Pizza/9,600 served
Iyanze/Jerk Chicken/2,000 lbs
La Justicia/Steak Tacos/19,200 served
Manny’s/Turkey Legs/120,000 served
Parrot Cage/Mini Red Velvet Cupcakes/6,000 served
Pegasus/Gyros & Sausage/10,000 lbs
Ricobene’s/Breaded Steak Sandwich/18,800 served
Robinson’s Ribs/Baby Back Ribs/Rib Tips/28,000 lbs
Sabor Latino Restaurant/Mini Steak Jibarito/24,000 served
Star of Siam/Pad Thai Noodles & Pot Stickers/More than 20,000 servings each
Timothy O’Toole’s/Wings/57,600 pieces
Vermilion/Chicken Kabab/15,000 served