Early numbers: 2017 Taste of Chicago facts and figures
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Though the official tally — final sales and revenue figures — won’t be known for a few more days or weeks, early estimates indicate that the 2017 edition of Taste of Chicago was one of the most successful in recent years. According to the initial numbers released Sunday by the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), an estimated 1.6 million people attended the 37th edition of the Taste, making it “the highest on record since the Taste moved to a five-day format in 2012,” according to the statement.
In addition, the statement noted that Saturday (July 8) “saw the strongest single-day sales at the Taste since July 3, 2009 with $1.9 million in sales.” Overall, this year’s food and music festival’s impact on the city is estimated to be $106 million (the official figures will be available at a later date).
“Over five days, the Taste of Chicago was a tremendous culinary and cultural adventure that energized festival goers making this year’s Taste a triumph,” said Mark Kelly, Commissioner, Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events in the announcement. “From the new Street Art and Graffiti Alley, to March of the Puppets, attendees were treated each day to diverse music and dance performances that included 43 bands on the Petrillo Music Shell and Bud Light Stages and 19 Chicago dance companies, all adding excitement to this year’s festival.”
Here’s a partial by-the-numbers breakdown of Taste, according to DCASE:
— More than 3,000 people were employed by restaurants and other vendors at the festival
— More than 600 artists and performers were hired to entertain patrons
— 29 vendors provided 71 healthy food menu items (based on calories, saturated fat, sodium and ingredients as selected by a panel of physicians and nutrition experts)
— Lou Malnati’s served up 20,000 slices of pizza
— La Mexicana served up 110,000 paletas
— Miller’s Pub served up 15,000 roasted turkey legs
— O’Brien’s Restaurant and Bar served up 28,224 ears of corn on the cob
— Riva’s pop-up served up 2,500 orders of seafood gumbo
— Eli’s Cheesecake served up 37,500 slices of cheesecake
— Tuscany restaurant served up 12,500 toasted ravioli
— Robinson’s No. 1 Ribs served up 9,000 pounds of barbecued ribs
— Carbon Live Fire Mexican Grill served up 62,400 tacos
— Gold Coast Dogs served up 50,000 Chicago-style hot dogs
— Churro Factory served up 3 tons of funnel cakes
— La Bomba served up 15,000 pork/chicken shish kabobs