Enjoy amazing food, music, works by artisans, goods from area merchants, and much more at this family-friendly event, now in its 14th year. Taste of River North is known for its spectacular food and world-class art and design, and this festival goes above and beyond to showcase its characteristics.
This year’s music headliners include Rodd Tuffcurls & The Bench Press on Friday, Sixteen Candles on Saturday, and Waters on Sunday. Come hungry! Chefs at the Taste of River North serve up unique and generous portions compared to your average street festival. Featured restaurants at this year’s event include Taco Joint, Kinzie Chophouse, The Motel Bar, Sholado, Fannie May, Farmhouse, Pranzi, El Hefe, The Kerryman, Starfruit, Blackfinn Ameripub, Da Lobsta, and The Melting Pot.
Fun for Kids: Let your children loose in the Lurie Children’s and Kohl’s Kids Zone, a special designated area within the festival packed with children’s programming and activities, including amusing family entertainment, a playground, dancing, face painters, stilt walkers, and balloon artists, as well as various demonstrations from local schools, organizations, and programs.
The Walmart Healthy Cooking Stage: For the second year in a row, the Walmart Healthy Cooking Stage will appear at Taste of River North, an exclusive demo stage showcasing some of the most popular chefs from River North and the Chicagoland area. The featured chefs will conduct 30-minute live cooking demonstrations focused on healthy recipes (gluten-free, etc.) of their choice. The demonstrations will take place throughout the weekend and will be featured on a 16 x 16 stage (with mirrors and a microphone) with complimentary seating for 40 people.
The Pet Zone: New to Taste of River North in 2015 is the Walmart sponsored ‘Pet Zone.’ The Pet Zone is a fest-within-a-fest dedicated to pet activities and pet related retail vendors. Well behaved dogs, which are allowed on leashes at Taste of River North, are invited to ‘woof’ it up on Saturday and Sunday. Pets can relax at this “pet oasis” with pet beds, water bowls, and lots of special tastes (i.e. treats), while owners can enjoy local pet businesses all weekend long under a giant tent. For those who don’t own a pet, this is a chance to go home with one, as there will be many available for adoption. Pursuant to standard Park District policy, dogs are not allowed in the south part of Ward Park and must be leashed in all other public areas except inside of the fenced “Dog Friendly Area” on Larrabee.
The Workouts: Also new to Taste of River North this year is a morning workout feature. Attendees will be able burn off some calories (and prep their bodies for a day of tasting!) before the festivities begin. East Bank Club’s world-class fitness professionals will lead complimentary morning workouts on-site around the park on Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 – 11:15 a.m. both days. On Saturday, yoga will be offered on the riverfront next to Ward Park, and on Sunday it will be Zumba on the corner of Erie and Kingsbury.
Taste of River North will be held on Friday, July 17, from 5-10 p.m.; Saturday, July 18, from noon-10 p.m.; and on Sunday, July 19, from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Taste of River North takes place at Ward Park at the corner of N. Kingsbury and W. Erie.