Thus our attendance at Taste of Chicago for the second year in a row. The Warren Program hosted a booth yesterday afternoon at which they provided casual play and instruction to passers-by. They also disseminated information about chess opportunities in Chicago and welcomed donations from anyone interested in supporting their efforts. So while my dear husband stayed home with the 3-year-old (because of the extremely dense crowds I don't recommend taking small children to this venue), Caitlin and I accompanied Trevor in hopes of enjoying some of the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the day while he attended to business.
We couldn't have asked for more stunningly gorgeous weather. The temperature was ideal--70's in the sun, even cooler in the shade--and the sky was perfectly clear and blue. Here's a shot of downtown with some of the Taste of Chicago booths in the foreground:
Once we arrived, we had a long walk from the parking garage to our location for the afternoon. The chess event was held in the designated "Family Village" area, so we were close to the rides as well as to a "Fun Time Stage" with musical entertainment for children and families. The booth to which we were assigned is one which features daily events of interest to children; before we took up residence yesterday the previous occupants were making chocolate bears. In the photo below, the Illinois Chess Association logo is pictured hanging below the larger sign for the booth. In front of the booth are passers-by who have already started playing chess!
Once we arrived and set up, Trevor settled in for some games with both his fellow Warren scholars and anyone else who happend by that wanted to play.
He also took time to offer instruction to some young players.
While Trevor played chess, Caitlin did some reading under a nearby tree and studied the Taste of Chicago guide in an effort to choose a few foods to sample.
Then Caitlin and I braved the crowds for a few tastes. If this is what it was like yesterday, I can only imagine the crowds on July 4! Sometimes the crowd in the booth area was so thick it was hard to move.
We aren't much on carnival rides, but the Ferris wheel still makes a nice picture!
Street entertainment included robotic dancers covered in silver paint and this clown lady doing balloon art:
After Trevor completed his chess responsibilities, we did a bit more tasting. Among the three of us, we sampled such items as steak tacos, fried cheese, toasted ravioli, sweet potato salad, hummus shirazi (herb-tomato-cucumber salad over a bed of hummus), samosas (crisp patties with potatoes, peas, coriander and spices), Cajun meatballs & eggrolls (the eggrolls were filled will collard greens), spinach pizza, pizza bites, pierogies (semi-circular dumplings filled with potato, chicken or spinach and topped with sour cream), lemon ice, and chocolate granache. (It helped that the Warren scholars and their families were able to purchase discounted tickets.) We capped our day with a photo in front of Buckingham Fountain: