Taste of Chicago
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The 32nd annual fest is just five days long in 2012 (it was formerly 10). According to The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Taste will showcase classic and emerging restaurants in Chicago, along with cooking demos and local and national music acts. Also new this year: For $40, get a three-course, seated dinner prepared by a different top chef each day. The schedule features Carlos Gaytan of Mexique (Wednesday), Tony Mantuano of Spiaggia (Thursday), Graham Elliot of G.E.B. (Friday), Stephanie Izard of Girl & The Goat (Saturday) and Jimmy Bannos Sr. of Heaven on Seven (Sunday). Meals are served at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; noon Saturday-Sunday.

Headliners include Jennifer Hudson (Wednesday), Death Cab for Cutie (Thursday), Chaka Khan (Saturday) and Dierks Bentley (Sunday). Get $25 tickets for seats at the Petrillo Music Shell for evening concerts; lawn admission is free. See the full lineup of free shows and ticketed headliners here.

Wednesday
Jennifer Hudson
Luke James

Thursday
Death Cab for Cutie
Calexico

Friday
Michael Franti & Spearhead
Fitz & the Tantrums My My My

Saturday
Roshon Fagen
Shealeigh
Chaka Khan
Raphael Saadiq

Sunday
Dierks Bentley
Lindi Ortega

Find more listings in our Chicago festival guide.