Village Officials Thrilled
with “Taste of Oakbrook”
By Chuck Fieldman
Photos courtesy of the Village of Oak Brook
After moving with his family to the village as child, Oak Brook Village President Larry Herman has attended several of the the annual July 3 Taste of Oak Brook events.This year’s Taste was Herman’s first as village president, and he was very pleased with the end result, calling it “by far the most successful, yet.”
“I’ve been to many of them over the last two decades, and I was so impressed by just how much everyone enjoyed this year’s event, from the Sixteen Candles band, to the new beer garden, the numerous food vendors, and of course our trademark epic fireworks show,” Herman said.”
Village Board member Michael Manzo, chairman of the Taste of Oak Brook Committee, said he wasn’t surprised that the 2023 event was a big success. “First, we started planning much earlier than we have in the past,” Manzo said. “And the whole attitude of everyone involved was great. All of the village staff who were involved worked hard, and our police department did a great job making sure we didn’t have any problems.”
And very importantly, the one wild card that always is a part of Taste of Oak Brook — the weather — cooperated well.
“We just always hope for good weather because that is so important with outdoor events,” Manzo said. “Fortunately, we had that this year, and it allowed Taste to go on and make for a great day.”
Taste of Oak Brook started at 3 p.m. at the Oak Brook Sports Core fields, 700 Oak Brook Road, and continued through the fireworks show at dusk.
“I don’t recall another Taste being more protected and smoothly ran than this years event.”
– Oak Brook Police Chief Brian Strockis
Police Chief Brian Strockis was very proactive in preparing his officers to help make sure Taste attendees were able to enjoy the day without incident. “A large gathering is always a public safety concern, but we had every police employee, including civilians, working this year,” Strockis said.
Two drones were used throughout the event, and the video feeds went to the department’s real-time crime center, which was constantly monitored, Strockis said.
“The drones helped us to monitor the perimeter of the event to ensure the crowd was safe,” he said.
Along with the use of drones, Oak Brook police utilized plain clothes officers for the first time. Those officers blended in with the crowd, and the police department also has seven k9’s and bike officers present. Public works personnel were used to assist with traffic control.
“I don’t recall another Taste being more protected and smoothly ran than this years event,” Strockis said. “You couldn’t go anywhere in the event without seeing the police.”
Herman thanked Village Manager Greg Summers, the Public Works, Police and Fire departments, the village’s Taste of Oak Brook Committee and others who worked on the Taste.
“Events of this magnitude are also not possible without the support of the community and particularly our corporate partners, such as Wintrust Financial, Flood Brothers, Ace Hardware, Hub Group, and so many others,” Herman said. ■