Well, the Taste of Chicago starts today. I like to refer to it as the Taste of Hell. For anyone unaware, the Taste of Chicago is a yearly event whereby food vendors peddle their wares in Grant Park for ten days. I will not be going this year.
I have been to the Taste of Chicago twice. This is what you get: (a) enormous crowds; (b) blistering heat; (c) children everywhere; (d) gangs; (e) you have to buy your food with tickets, which means first you have to wait in line to exchange your money for tickets, and then you have to wait in line again to get your food; (f) expensive; (g) attempting to juggle your food while you navigate the crowds until you can find a place to enjoy your food before it either gets cold, gets hot, or melts; (h) enormous crowds. Did I mention the crowds? People are everywhere, walking in all different directions. Attempting to walk ten or twenty feet can take 20 minutes.
In short, it’s hell. I don’t understand why it is such a big deal every year, and why so many people go. Not to mention the threat of violence, which appears to be getting worse with each passing year. People are regularly arrested at the Taste with guns and knives. Shootings have occurred over the past couple of years. The city writes it off to “business as usual” when you have a crowd that large. I personally prefer to avoid it all together.
But don't let me dissuade you. If you've never been, you should definitely go at least once. My prayers are with you.