For ten days every summer, Chicago’s Grant Park morphs itself into a food lover’s paradise for the Taste of Chicago Food Festival. The festival, first held in 1980, has become the city’s most popular event, bringing in over four million people every year. Some of the information for this year’s festival has been made available. Here’s some of the basic stuff, just in case you’re planning to check it all out.
2011 Festival Dates/Times: 6/25 – 7/4; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., except on 7/3 when the festival closes at 7 p.m. and on 7/4 when it closes at 6 p.m.
Location: In Grant Park, between Balboa Drive, Monroe Avenue, Lake Shore Drive, and Michigan Avenue.
Getting In: The festival is free to get into, but you do need to buy tickets to be able to eat and drink. Twelve tickets will cost you $8. How many tickets you pay for food or drink will be dependent on the size of the food portion. To be fair, most vendors offer a sample-type plate for minimum tickets.
Public Transportation in Chicago: You can get to the festival in Grant Park a few different ways. The red and blue line subway stops are a few blocks away, and the 145 and 151 buses stop near Grant Park as well.
Parking: As far as parking goes, you can make use of the numerous parking garages around Grant Park. There is no parking right at the festival site. You also have the option of parking farther away and taking one of the public transit options to get to Grant Park.