Rainbow Cone brought its pink food truck to the Taste grounds last year, selling its classic cones to help people beat the heat. (File photo)
Taste of Orland to celebrate 20th anniversary with music, fun, and food
By Isabella Schreck
Live-music fanatics, foodies and car lovers will have plenty to do at the 20th anniversary of the Taste of Orland this weekend.
With its usual line-up of tribute and local bands, neighborhood restaurant vendors, community groups, free giveaways, activities for kids and much more, Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau said the Taste is “a nice, fun thing to do on the weekend.”
“Every year, we have 30,000-50,000 people come out to the Taste of Orland to enjoy the food, the music, and spending time with friends and neighbors,” Pekau said. “They have a great time, and this year is no different. We’re going to have the same great time that we always do.”
Pekau noted this is the last year the weekend-long event will be held at the Orland Park Village Hall, 14700 S. Ravinia Ave. Next year and moving forward, the Taste will be held at the new concert venue the village is building at Centennial Park West. Pekau said the park setup is being built to accommodate the Taste, which is the village’s biggest event of the year, and vendors, along with other village events.
The weekend fun, this year running from August 4-6, is presented by Northwestern Medicine, and sponsored by over a dozen businesses, including Duluth Trading Company, Polish & Slavic Federal Credit Union and Mazda of Orland Park.
Restaurant vendors bringing their fare include: Barraco’s, Buona Beef, Burger 21, Cooper’s Hawk, Gaston’s Bistro, Jamba Juice, Joey’s Red Hots, Mo’s Chinese Kitchen, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Orland Ale House, Papa Joe’s, Pueblito, Rainbow Cone, Rock Bottom brewery and Tradycja Polish Fusion Cuisine.
Friday, 5-11 p.m.
The country band Nashville Electric Company out of Yorkville will kick off the weekend and perform from 5-7:30 p.m. Friday on the Main Stage.
The Battle of the Bands contest performances, where local bands compete for cash prizes, will run from 6-10 p.m. on the Community Stage, and the winning band will perform at 6 p.m. Sunday on the Main Stage.
Carl Sandburg Marching Eagles will play from 7:30-8:15 p.m. on the Main Stage, and Fools House, a ‘90s dance-party music band, will follow them from 8:30-11 p.m.
Saturday, 1-11 p.m.
The Music Company, a polka and variety band out of Chicago, will begin Saturday’s festivities at the Main Stage from 1-3 p.m.
Childrens’ activities at the “Kids Zone” on the Village Green will run from 1-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
To cool off from the heat, adults 18 and up can play Bingo inside the Civic Cent from 1-8 p.m., and people of all ages can come in and enter one or more of the village’s four trivia contents. This year’s categories include Stranger Things at 2 p.m., The Simpsons at 3 p.m., and People’s Choice categories at 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.
The annual Bags Tournament will kick off with preliminary rounds at 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Round 2 starts at 6:30, Round 3 at 7:30 and then the championship game at 9 p.m.
The Veterans Tribute to honor veterans, including two 100-year-old World War II veterans who will be in attendance, will begin at the Main Stage at 7 p.m. Pekau said he always looks forward to this part of the fest.
“I really like when we honor the veterans on Saturday night,” Pegasus said. “When I got here, we used to do this on Sunday like at one o’clock in the heat of the day when there aren’t many things going on. But we’ve moved that to be before the headliner on Saturday nights, and we have a huge crowd, and we honor all of our veterans. That ceremony is always really nice and a lot of fun.”
Live Band Karaoke will be featured from 8-11 p.m. at the Community Stage, and Elton Live, an Elton John Tribute band, will close out the night from 8:30-11 p.m. on the Main Stage.
Sunday, 1-9 p.m.
FUZE Band, Chicago-based group that plays a cappella, jazz and Latin music, among others, will start off the last day of the Taste from 1-3 p.m. on the Main Stage.
After a 20-minute performance from the VOP Dance Company and the Battle of the Band winner performance at 6 p.m., American English, a Beatles Tribute band, will play out the rest of the fest from 7-9 p.m. on the Main Stage.
Sunday’s activities in the Civic Center include Bingo from 1-8 p.m. and Improve Mash-up from 4-6 p.m.
The annual Taste of Orland Park Car Show will feature over 200 vintage and modern-day cars sure to impress any car enthusiast. The show takes place in the John Humphrey parking lot beginning at 11 a.m. Pre-registration is available online at OrlandPark.org/Taste or on the day of the event onsite beginning at 9 a.m.
There is something for everyone at the Taste of Orland, “whether it’s for the music, whether it’s for the food, whether it’s for a few beers or just neighbors sitting down in lawn chairs and listening to the good music,” Pekau said.
Free parking is available at a number of sites around the Village Center including the parking tower at 143rd Street and Ravinia Avenue.
Visitors may bring one sealed water bottle per person. No other outside food or drink will be allowed into the event. Bags will be inspected at entrance locations. Attendees are asked to bring their own lawn chairs or blankets to enjoy the event and reminded that no tables are allowed to be brought in.
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