The Taste of Park Ridge corporation is a not for profit, tax exempt organization. Its purpose is to plan and produce the Taste of Park Ridge each summer. The corporation was formed to protect against catastrophic liabilities to the volunteer members of the management committee and its subcommittees as it performs its tasks. Funds generated by the Taste are used to perpetuate it. Funds are generated by sponsorships from companies and organizations in exchange for promotional consideration and by a portion of ticket sales. Any services that the Taste of Park Ridge Management Committee contracts with a vendor have gone through a bidding process.
The Taste of Park Ridge was founded by the late Harry O’Brien (former Park Ridge Chamber of Commerce Executive Director), Dave Iglow, owner of Pine’s Menswear of Park Ridge (in his capacity as Chamber Retail Committee chairman), and noted Park Ridge restaurateur and businessman Dean Patras in 2000. The Taste of Park Ridge evolved from the earlier “Taste of Uptown”, established by then Uptown Business Association president Barbara Scharringhausen and Dean Patras. The original idea behind the Taste of Uptown was to enhance the traditional Summer Sidewalk Sale.
Three years later, the Park Ridge Chamber of Commerce, under the leadership of Executive Director Richard Brayer, in partnership with the City of Park Ridge, hired a professional event planner to coordinate the Taste. While popular with residents, the festival was unable to financially perpetuate itself, creating a risk that it would cease to exist in 2005.
In May of 2005, newly elected Mayor Howard Frimark, responding to citizens’ desire to see the Taste continue to develop as a signature event, secured seed funding for the 2005 Taste. Mayor Frimark then asked one of the original founders, Dave Iglow, to assemble a volunteer management committee to orchestrate the event. Within seven weeks, the volunteers planned and delivered a fantastic civic celebration. Succeeding years witnessed similar results.
The current Taste committee is excited about the exceptional free entertainment, family activities, and food vendors for the upcoming Taste.
The 2022 Taste of Park Ridge Committee Members: Dave Iglow, Robin Iglow, Mark Lundberg, Jackie Mathews, Tony Mirato, Dean J. Patras, Fred Sanchez, Evan Sanchez, Mel Thillens, Tony Tripp, Steve Warnimont, Mike Grabowski, Jim Nichols, Joanne Scarpelli, and Steve Wegrecki.
The members of the Board of Directors and the Management Committee are non-compensated volunteers who are civic minded business persons and/or residents in the Park Ridge community.