Here are answers to some of the most common reader questions about the Taste of Chicago that make their way into my inbox:
How much do the concerts and activities cost?
Everything at the Taste of Chicago, with the exception of food, drinks, and a couple sorry excuses for rides, are free of charge.
How do I get tickets for the main concerts at the Petrillo Music Shell?
You don't. The general seating area opens 30 minutes before showtime on a first come, first serve basis. As you can imagine, people start lining up long before then so if you want a good seat, arrive early.
What if I can't get a seat? Is there lawn seating?
Yes, there is a wide expanse of lawn behind the Petrillo's seating area. Lawn chairs are allowed, and they also utilize a "jumbo screen" so it's still a good time.
Can I bring my dog?
Dogs are not allowed anywhere within the Taste of Chicago festival grounds, and if you bring yours, you will be asked to leave. Given the huge crowds, your pet is better off at home, anyway, as they would very likely be repeatedly stepped on.
Can I bring a stroller?
Babies are also not allowed at Taste of Chicago. Kidding! But as mentioned above, the crowds are dense so the smaller and less cumbersome the stroller you can bring, the better. Best option would be to ditch the stroller altogether and utilize a sling or baby carrier.
Can I bring my own food?
It's like bringing sand to the beach, but yes, you can bring your own picnic lunch. You may not bring your own alcoholic beverages, however.
I can't bring booze? Do they at least have some for sale?
Alcoholic beverages are sold at Taste of Chicago, as long as you are over 21 with proper ID.
Does Taste of Chicago accept credit cards?
Yes, you may use Visa, Mastercard or American Express to buy food/beverage tickets. You must show identification to use a credit card.