Melissa Stratton 312.746.9454
The Taste of Chicago, the popular annual food and music event held in downtown Chicago, begins Wednesday and will run through Sunday, July 13, 2014. The Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) cautions motorists and pedestrians to be aware of Grant Park area street closures, parking restrictions, traffic delays and large crowds attending the Midwest's premier food festival.
New this year, the Taste will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; and from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
OEMC worked with organizers to make the festival an enjoyable and safe experience and will be monitoring the event as weather conditions may change and become more severe with anticipated rainfall towards the end of the week. For public safety, attendees are reminded to be aware of the numbers attached to the poles throughout the Grant Park area to help them reference their location within the Park to friends, family and first responders if there is an emergency.
Due to various street closures and pedestrian traffic, motorists should seek alternate routes to avoid the Grant Park area. Motorists can utilize Lake Shore Drive on the east and State Street on the west to get around the Columbus Drive closure.
The following street closures will remain in effect through Monday, July 14:
Parking and Traffic Control
Since parking restrictions are in effect in the area, OEMC encourages motorists to read signs before parking and adhere to the instructions of the Traffic Control Aides deployed to assist with traffic movement. Public parking is available at the Millennium Garage, with the entrance on Columbus.
Public transportation is highly recommended. Public transportation options, as well as added service for the Taste, can be found on the Chicago Transit Authoritys website at www.transitchicago.com .
City of Chicago Notifications
Notify Chicago is the City's free real-time emergency, traffic and weather alert system, which provides notifications of major traffic impacts, extreme weather advisories and warnings and other emergencies. Anyone can subscribe
at www.notifychicago.org for this useful tool to keep informed of impactful incidents in the city of Chicago.
For any event, check the weather conditions for outings and be prepared to take shelter should extreme weather occur.OEMC urges all to enjoy the food, fun and family-friendly events at the Taste of Chicago safely, including the Kidz Zone stage on Sunday, July 13, featuring emergency preparedness activities for the whole family. For more information on Taste of Chicago vendors, concerts and more, see the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events' website at www.cityofchicago.org/dcase .
The Office of Emergency Management and Communications was established in 1995 to coordinate the Citys delivery of Police, Fire and Emergency Medical Services resources. OEMC operates Chicagos public safety communications system, managing emergency situations and coordinating major events, 3-1-1 and 9-1-1 Communications Operations. OEMC is also the host to Notify Chicago, a resource for residents to subscribe to receive text and voice alerts related to traffic disruptions, severe weather, health and major incidents. For more information visit our website at www.cityofchicago.org/oemc or "like" us on Facebook at www.facebook/coemc.