Everything you need to know about Taste of Chicago 2016

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File photo: Taste of Chicago entrance near Grant Park.

CHICAGO — Wednesday is the kickoff to Taste of Chicago, where locals and tourists can flock downtown to enjoy food, music and fun in Grant Park.

Nearly 70 restaurants and more than 10 bands are taking part in this year’s festivities. Food stands will include 20 newcomers to the event, and live acts will include rising stars such as KONGOS, as well as old favorites such as The Isley Brothers.

According to the city’s website, the event is the world’s largest food festival. It runs from July 6-10. Hours are 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, and 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. on the weekend.

Here’s what you need to know for Taste of Chicago 2016:

Getting there:

  • Parking

If you are traveling by car, there are multiple parking locations near the event. Visitors can park at one of the following garages downtown, and be within a short walk to the event:

Millennium Park Garage/Millennium Lakeside Garage, 5 S. Columbus Drive

Grant Park North Garage, 25 N. Michigan Ave.

Grant Park South Garage, 325 S. Michigan Ave.

For more information on parking prices and packages, go here.

  • CTA/Metra

A cheaper and often quicker way to get to Grant Park is through CTA. The park is located east of downtown, but several buses and trains can bring you within just a few blocks.

Depending on where you’re coming from, you can travel on the Green, Orange, Brown, Pink or Purple Line Express elevated lines, and exit at Adams/Wabash and walk two blocks east on Adams. Or, you can take Red or Blue Line subways, exit at Jackson and walk a few blocks east on Jackson. Bus nos. 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 14, 126, 129, 146, 147, 151 and 173 also have service to Grant Park.

Note: The event is also causing some bus reroutes as well. Click here for more information.

There will be additional rail and bus service beginning Wednesday, July 6 and continuing through Sunday, July 10.

CTA released the following info in a statement:

Red Line

Weekdays: longer trains will operate until midnight and more frequent service from 6 p.m. to
10 p.m.

Saturday/Sunday: more frequent service from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Blue Line

Weekdays/Saturday/Sunday: longer trains will operate until midnight.

Brown Line

Weekdays: longer trains will operate from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m.

Saturday/Sunday: longer trains will operate from 9 a.m. until midnight.

Orange Line

Weekdays: longer trains will operate from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m.

Saturday/Sunday: longer trains will operate from 9 a.m. until midnight.

Green Line

Weekdays: longer trains will operate from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.

The following routes will provide extra bus service from approximately 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. July 6-8 and from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. July 9-10:

#3 King Drive, #4 Cottage Grove, #6 Jackson Park Express, #J14 Jeffery Jump, #29 State, #146 Inner Drive/Michigan Express and #151 Sheridan.

Separately, buses will continue to be rerouted due to street closures associated with Taste of Chicago until approximately 4 p.m. Monday, July 11.

Northbound buses operating along the following routes will operate via Columbus, Roosevelt, and Michigan to Balbo: #2 Hyde Park Express, #6 Jackson Park Express, #10 Museum of Science and Industry, #J14 Jeffery Express, #26 South Shore Express and #28 Stony Island. The buses will operate southbound via Michigan and Roosevelt to Columbus.

Metra is adding service and altered routes for the event.  Is it also offering an $8 weekend pass good for unlimited travel on Saturday and Sunday. The pass can be purchased on the train or via the Ventra App that on the App Store and Google Play.

There will also be some road closures due to the event:

The festivities:

  • Tickets

Admission to the park is free. Food and beverage tickets are sold in strips of 12 tickets for $8.50 (price includes $2.50 charge for Taste amenities). Ticket strips are sold at the festival.

Concert tickets can be bought online here. Concert seating tickets are limited to 10 tickets per concert.

  • Food

Taste of Chicago will include popup restaurants, food trucks and five-day restaurants. Sixty-nine venues  in all will be featuring food and drinks, including 20 newcomers.

For a full list of restaurants taking part in Taste of Chicago, go here.

Each day will also include a “Celebrity Chef du Jour,” for which tickets can be purchased at $45 per person (limit four tickets per person). Find the list of celebrity chefs here.

There will also be free chef presentation on each day. See the schedule.

  • Music

The Petrillo Music Shell performers include The Roots, KONGOS, The Decemberists, Billy Idol and The Isley Brothers featuring Ronald and Ernie Isley. Tickets are on sale now. A complete list of musical guest can be found here.

Chicago native Chance the Rapper announced that he plans to take the stage on Wednesday as well.

Additionally, a free concert series will take place at the Bud Light Stage at Columbus and Balbo Streets. Go here for a full list of acts.

  • Fun and more

Taste of Chicago will also feature kids’ events as well as vendors selling crafts and jewelry. To see the full daily schedule for Taste of Chicago, go here.

For more information, you can follow Taste of Chicago on the following social media channels:




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