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Thousands Head to Taste Opening

Highland Park’s premier summer weekend opens.

Live music and booths representing 18 Highland Park restaurants opened Highland Park’s . 

More than 2,000 people packed onto the one block stretch of Central Avenue between First and Second Street as two bands——performed. Attendees purchased food from the vendors. 

“This is a great opportunity for our community across all ages to come together for good food and good music,” said as she opened the weekend. “The this weekend is an event that will be a treat for the senses,” she added about the annual art fair opening at 10 a.m. Saturday. 

Former City Councilman was partaking as well. Silberman was part of the Council five years ago when it negotiated with all relevant stakeholders to combine the Taste of Highland Park with the art fair. 

“I’ve very proud of our community,” Silberman said. “This (the gathering of thousands of Highland Parkers) is what makes Highland Park different from any other city on the North Shore.” 

Restaurateurs like Adam Nieto, 33, of sees participating in the weekend festivities as an opportunity to further engrain himself into his city. “This is a chance to be part of the community, to give back and be involved,” he said. 

, a local property owner and promoter of downtown Highland Park was thrilled with what he saw. “It’s awesome,” he said. “I’d like to see these eight days a week."

Bob Levi August 28, 2011 at 03:07 PM
I enjoyed Taste on Friday night and went to the Art Fair and Taste Saturday afternoon and evening. Nice crowds, but IMHO nowhere near the "hundreds of thousands" mentioned in an article in Thurday's HP News. The events will be open for a total of 18 hours and let's norminally estimate attendance at 180,000 over that time period. That's 10,000 people per hour. Assuming two attendees per vehicle, can HP accomodate parking for 5,000 cars per hour? Highly unlikely. The promoters do a fine job with the events, but there's a tendency to overhype the attendence. Maybe an attendance figure of 36,000 over the three days might be more likely. That's 1,000 cars per hour and that figure might be high.
Michael Wolf August 28, 2011 at 08:46 PM
The attendance figure has always been rubbish and made up. The HP News a few years back wrote that 250,000 people visited, which of course is impossible. The promotors should consider that many in HP can do math and yes, 5,000 cars parking per hour is absurd - as is 1,000. The big art fest in Grand Rapids, Michigan - as an example - runs 11 days and draws 250,000 people over that time and that has 50 times more artists and events. It's considered one of the biggest in the country. Indian Market in Santa Fe is considered huge and it draws 150,000. So, yes, HP looks crowded during the Art Fair, but my guess is over the three days 20,000-25,000 - including pets - is more likely and even that could be high. The HP News just has too many "0's" in their stories each year.
M. Davis August 30, 2011 at 05:00 PM
What's up between the City of Highland Park (Taste of HP and the Art Fair) and the Ravinia Festival. Tony Bennett on Friday night and the band Chicago on Saturday and Sunday. Big signs at all entrances to municipal parking saying "NO RAVINIA PARKING". No notice was given to people planning to attend events at Ravinia that there would be no place to park. People walked from Sunset Golf Course side streets to catch the bus to Ravinia. The City and Ravinia need to coordinate these events better.
MS August 31, 2012 at 11:54 AM
Gotta be honest. As much as I want to love the Taste of HP it gets wrse every year. this year's food was the worst yet, and what's up with everyone charging the same for water? Last I checked collusion was illegal, or did the city decide govt knows best and dictate the prices each vendor should charge, which would be quite disturbing. Let the vendors serve waht they want at the price they want and allow the consumers to decide. I'll give it one more year, and if it stays the same will be eating before attending the Art Festival.

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