Mayor Emanuel weighs in on future of Taste of Chicago

July 5, 2011

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(WBEZ/Tony Arnold)
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel addresses reporters Tuesday.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wouldn't give any hints Tuesday about whether the city will once again seek to privatize the Taste of Chicago. The Taste of Chicago just wrapped up on Sunday, but already the park district is bracing to take a financial loss on the food festival, according to the district's interim CEO.

This was the first year the Park District ran the Taste. The city tried to privatize the event, but those plans fell through when the only bidder threatened to charge admission.

Emanuel said the Taste was a success because people from around the world visited it.

"I want that to continue," he said. "It doesn't mean we still do it the same way we've done it. We'll ask some core questions."

Emanuel said he'll wait to make a final assessment of how the Taste went until he gets a formal report.

Meantime, Emanuel also wouldn't promise the city will bring back its big 3rd of July fireworks display next year. In an effort to save money, Chicago canceled its holiday fireworks and relied on a scaled-down display at Navy Pier.