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Taste of Joliet draws high attendance

Published: Monday, June 27, 2016 10:25 p.m. CDT
Caption
(Larry W. Kane for Shaw Media)
The Mini Enterprise was one of the many rides at the Taste of Joliet, held this past weekend at Memorial Stadium in Joliet. Somewhere between 45,000 and 50,000 people attended Taste of Joliet during the weekend, according to preliminary counts from the Joliet Park District.

JOLIET – More than 50,000 people attended Taste of Joliet during the weekend, according to preliminary counts from the Joliet Park District.

“We’re still putting the numbers together,” Executive Director Tom Carstens said Monday.

But a combination of dry weather and popular acts may have delivered the most successful Taste of Joliet yet, he said.

“We will definitely end up in the black this year,” he said.

Final numbers should be tallied by the end of the week.

Taste of Joliet is not always a moneymaker because rainouts on a concert night can dampen attendance – and revenue – while the park district still has to pay for the performers. But large crowds came out for Styx on Friday night and Trace Adkins on Saturday night.

Carstens said it’s hard to determine which performance drew more people.

“They were neck and neck. They both filled the stadium,” he said.

He said aerial shots of Memorial Stadium showed how popular both performances proved to be.

“The football field, including the track, was wall-to-wall with people,” Carstens said. “The stadium was three-fourths full in terms of bleacher seating.”

Sunday usually is the lightest day for Taste attendance, but Carstens said a princesses and superheroes show that day for a younger audience also turned out a good crowd.

Taste of Joliet included 28 food vendors, whom Carstens said did well because of the good weather and turnout.

Carstens, who started at the district in April, said he was impressed by the district staff’s handling of the event.

“As a new person coming in and watching the staff, it was amazing,” he said. “They were so in sync and so organized.”

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