There were rumors that this may happen, but yesterday Mayor Daley launched into the many reasons why the Taste of the Chicago needs to go private. Calling the burden to the tax payer “truly unfair,” Daley said the city had to stop paying for the festival: “The cost factor was enormous for Taste of Chicago. No one made any money.” A reported $1.5 million was spent just on policing the lakefront during the festival. Critics note that any company would have to charge an admission fee, which would dissuade people from attending. What’s most interesting to us is that no mention was made of the quality of the food.
While the Taste of Chicago may be the largest food festival in the world, it isn’t exactly the most respected food festival in the city. Though some people have championed it, the general consensus has been that the food is kind of secondary to the spectacle of having so many people downtown. The big question that we have is whether privatizing the festival would address some of food issues or just make them worse.
Mayor still hopes to privatize Taste of Chicago [Sun-Times]