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Mayor defends decision to shorten Taste of Chicago

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is defending the decision to shorten the Taste of Chicago.

Officials from the city's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, which is organizing this year's event, announced last week the annual food festival would be cut down to five days in 2012. The department also said the summer event would be moved to July 11-15 instead of centered around 4th of July weekend, as has been the tradition.

Emanuel said Wednesday that re-evaluating the event was one of his campaign promises and that families will still be able to enjoy the shortened event.

"After 20 plus years of tinkering around the edges, we're bringing fundamental changes to it," said Emanuel. "But I have all the confidence that people will continue to enjoy it."

Last year the city tried to privatize the 10-day event but couldn't come to an agreement with a vendor.

The city said it likely lost money on last year's Taste of Chicago.

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