Taste of Joliet turnout likely to be biggest ever

Final numbers will be out later this week

A group of friends find a spot on the field to relax and enjoy the music at the Taste of Joliet on Friday, June 21, 2024 at Joliet Memorial Stadium.

The biggest summertime event in Joliet turned out to be really big last weekend.

The turnout numbers have not been finalized, but Joliet Park District Executive Director Brad Staab said early estimates indicate the biggest crowds ever.

“It was definitely the highest turnout we ever had,” Staab said Monday after the three-day event concluded Sunday at Joliet Memorial Stadium.

The biggest previous turnout was 55,000 in 2023.

“I think it’s safe to say we beat that number,” Staab said.

The 90-plus degree heat Friday and Saturday did not prove to be a deterrent, especially since it came without any rainouts for the Taste of Joliet stage.

Goo Goo Dolls on Friday for rock music night and Lady A on Saturday for country music night proved to be big draws. The Park District decision in recent years to feature Latin music on Sundays – typically a slow day for the Taste in past years – paid off with the booking of Grammy-nominated Los Huracanes del Norte as the headline act.

The live music, which featured several acts each night beyond the headline performers, is the big draw for Taste of Joliet.

The annual event always features several local restaurants and several out-of-town vendors, as well. The food is not the only attraction.

The Taste of Joliet, which enjoyed its 19th year, also has served as a quasi-homecoming event for the city as people stroll Memorial Stadium and meet old acquaintances.

The Park District’s ability to attract big-name entertainers to the Taste of Joliet stage, meanwhile, has drawn visitors from far beyond Joliet.