Plan to move Taste of Chicago near Navy Pier draws backlash

  • The annual Taste of Chicago has been held in Grant Park for decades, but Mayor Lori Lightfoot wants to move it near Navy Pier to accommodate a NASCAR race in the city over Fourth of July weekend.

    The annual Taste of Chicago has been held in Grant Park for decades, but Mayor Lori Lightfoot wants to move it near Navy Pier to accommodate a NASCAR race in the city over Fourth of July weekend. Courtesy of city of Chicago/2019

 
 
Updated 3/7/2023 8:36 PM

Mayor Lori Lightfoot's plan to hold Taste of Chicago on the same July 4 weekend as NASCAR's first street-course race -- but move Taste to a park near Navy Pier -- hit a wall of opposition Tuesday.

Downtown Aldermen Brendan Reilly and Brian Hopkins persuaded Special Events and Cultural Affairs Committee Chair Nick Sposato to hold the annual special events ordinance in committee to avert what Reilly called a "planning disaster."

 

Holding the ordinance in committee delays scheduling of the Taste.

"The mayor's office realized that they approved the NASCAR event while we have Taste of Chicago occurring the very same weekend and obviously you can't access Grant Park for the Taste surrounded by a racetrack. So, without any conversations with the impacted aldermen, it was unilaterally decided by the mayor's office that Taste of Chicago would be moved to Polk Brothers Park, the front yard for Navy Pier with no advance notice. No stakeholder input. Nothing," Reilly told the Sun-Times.

• This report was produced in partnership with the Chicago Sun-Times. For related coverage, visit chicago.suntimes.com.

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