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Giant turkey legs sold like hotcakes at Taste of Chicago

Workers clean up Monday around Grant Park after Taste Chicago which ended Sunday. |  John H. White~Sun-Times

Workers clean up on Monday around Grant Park after Taste of Chicago, which ended Sunday. | John H. White~Sun-Times

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Updated: October 20, 2011 12:27AM

Official attendance numbers for this year’s Taste of Chicago aren’t in yet. But one thing is clear: those giant turkey legs sold like hotcakes.

Crowds at the 10-day food fest, which ended Sunday, gobbled up 120,000 turkey drumsticks from Manny’s deli. They also ate: 57,600 chicken wings from Timothy O’Toole’s, 50,000 slices of Eli’s cheesecake and 30,000 steak tacos from Carbon, according to a random tally by the Chicago Park District.

Final attendance numbers will be released later this week.

It was the first Taste run by the Park District and the second in a row without a July 3 fireworks display in Grant Park.

Last year, the Taste drew about 700,000 fewer people than the 3.35 million who attended in 2009 — a 21 percent drop blamed on the lack of fireworks.

This year’s fest featured six more food vendors than last year, but big-name musical acts were scaled back. Organizers folded four smaller music festivals that used to take place in Millennium Park, including Gospel Fest and Country Music Fest, into the Taste. No word yet on how much trash crews were left to pick up.

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