Taste of Oak Brook: Come for the food, stay for the fireworks

When people head out to the Oak Brook Polo Field for the annual Taste of Oak Brook, they come for the food and stay for the music and the fireworks.

This year's celebration begins at 4 p.m. Monday, July 3, and goes until the last firework sparkle fades.

"It's just a one-day event," said Donna Bettin, the village's executive assistant. "It is a fun day."

Ten restaurants will compete to satisfy the crowd's appetite with dishes including steak, pizza, seafood, chicken and sushi, prepared with culinary approaches that feature Italian, American and Indian cuisines.

Michael Jordan's Steakhouse is among the Taste's entries, Bettin said. The company is expected to open its Oak Brook location in mid-July.

The offerings will include small samples, allowing visitors the opportunity to taste several types of dishes. Some restaurants also will offer larger, meal-sized portions. Food tickets are $1 each, Bettin said, and servings will cost from two to seven tickets each.

"We'll have a beer tent with beer, wine, sangria, pop and water," she said.

For kids, the festival will offer face painting, balloon artists, stilt walkers and a petting zoo. She said the Oak Brook Park District will host a bounce house for kids.

Several groups will have information booths at the Taste including the nonprofit True Patriots Care Foundation, which will be accepting donations to display rows of American flags in a Healing Field in honor of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Bettin said. The Healing Field will be Sept. 7 to 11 at the Polo Club Field, 1200 Oak Brook Road.

The musical lineup includes Dakota, a Las Vegas style entertainer, country band Lincoln Don't Lie, rock group Hi Infidelity and DJX, a live DJ.

About 6:30 p.m., Bettin said an awards presentation will feature the presentation of the Athlete of the Year award to an outstanding high school senior athlete.

Admission is free but there is a $10 parking fee per vehicle. If bad weather forces a cancellation, the fireworks will be delayed until Tuesday, July 4.

Bettin said the Taste draws a large crowd.

"We get approximately 20,000, plus," she said. "We've been fortunate. The weather has been with us."

If you go

What: Taste of Oak Brook

When: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday, July 3

Where: Oak Brook Sports Core and Polo Club, 700 Oak Brook Road, Oak Brook

Admission: Free; $10 per vehicle parking fee

Info: (630) 368-5000 or

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