Garry McCarthy looks for a telephone booth so he can change in to his UNDERDOG Superhero Costume
The formula for this year’s Taste of Chicago — food, live music and free admission — is pretty much the same as in the past, and yet this year’s festival in Grant Park will be markedly different.
The Taste has been downsized, its aspirations brought down to earth. It will last for five days starting Wednesday, half the run of a year ago.
The change was made to cut the chance of a drain on the city treasury. But participating restaurants, which have seen the event become less lucrative in recent years, now are unsure what to expect.
Officials, meanwhile, hope Taste will mimic last year’s record in security. The 2011 run had no serious crimes, although some wonder if fears of city violence have kept people away.
Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said Sunday that officers will be highly visible at the Taste and that undercover personnel will monitor crowds.
He said the department will use a variety of tools, including remote cameras. Uniformed officers and private security will closely monitor entrances for the Grant Park event and alcohol ordinances will be “strictly” enforced, McCarthy said.