CHICAGO —  Dates have yet to be announced for the Taste of Chicago in the summer of 2023, raising concerns that the event, celebrated annually in Grant Park, could be in jeopardy.

WGN News spoke to locals who said they were surprised that the dates have yet to be sorted out, given that the city’s partnership with NASCAR was announced last July.

“Taste of Chicago is so popular and a part of summertime in Chicago. I know the car races are great but this is Chicago,” said resident Mark Schechtere.

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The event’s future is uncertain due to the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events website listing the dates for the Taste as “to be determined.”

Grant Park is booked solid from May 18 through Aug. 13 for the Suenos Music Festival, NASCAR’s Street Race weekend and Lollapalooza. NASCAR’s race will take up a portion of Grant Park for nearly six weeks due to set up, the event itself and tear down. 

WGN News reached out to the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events for comment:

“Taste of Chicago is a beloved summertime tradition that is indeed happening this year. We are finalizing details for 2023 and will be announcing dates and locations for DCASE’s signature summer events in the coming weeks.”

Chicago resident Tomicko Hudson worries about the alternative if the Taste isn’t held in Grant Park, as it is custom.

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“That’s going to be big for the die-hard Tastegoers because they’re used to going to Grant Park,” Hudson said. “It will be interesting to see where they place them.”

Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd Ward) said Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot wants to have the Taste of Chicago the same weekend as the NASCAR race, July 1-2. The event would be moved to the Polk Brothers Park near Navy Pier, however. A spokesperson with Navy Pier told WGN News that there is currently no agreement in place.

Some, like Schechtere, worry that would create even more of a traffic nightmare. 

“It’ll be horrible. Just horrible,” he said. “The way traffic is now, the fact there will be more of an adverse impact is very distressing.”

Chicago resident Deidre Brown believes it would be better for the city to keep the Taste of Chicago in Grant Park but move to a later date.

“I would agree with Grant Park because it’s close in proximity to what we’re accustomed to,” Brown said. “If we just get it in later summer, that’s better than not having it at all.”