Park District head: Taste of Chicago likely lost money

July 5, 2011

Download Story
(Flickr/Richard Comish)
The head of Chicago Parks District says the city likely lost money on the festival

The head of Chicago's Park District says this year's Taste of Chicago was a success, even though he says the city likely lost money on the festival.

Leading up to this year's Taste of Chicago, which ended Sunday, the city had considered privatizing the event in an effort to grab some quick cash. But when the only bidder suggested charging admission to the food festival, the city instead turned the 10-day event over to the Park District.

"I don't think this thing made money, but I don't think it lost a lot of money, either," said Michael Kelly, the interim head of the Chicago Park District.

Kelly said it's too early to know the exact net loss for the Taste. He said he considers the event a success, in part because crime wasn't a big problem as it has been in the past. He said by ending the event half an hour earlier each day, police had more daylight.

Kelly said he's not sure if the Park District will still have control of the Taste of Chicago next year, but if it does, he said he'd try to keep a focus on events for kids and families.