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Our Time at the Taste of Lincoln Avenue!

On July 27 and 28, Byline was proud to once again take part in the Taste of Lincoln Avenue (TOLA), a major fundraiser for the Wrightwood Neighbors Association (WNA). Since 1984, The Taste (as regular attendees have come to call it), has been a major funder of the WNA, and provides financial support for local schools and organizations through grant disbursements.

TOLA charges its attendees a $10 gate fee for a whole day’s worth of entertainment (name us anywhere else that can make that claim…or at least somewhere you’d like to attend!). These gate fees go directly to the Wrightwood Neighbors Association, which in return uses the vast bulk of it to fund grants to local charities including neighborhood public schools, parks, arts programs, the local library branch, and even the local fire house. Since 1984, the WNA, through TOLA, has given back over $2.2 million to the community.

Last year, WNA presented grants to 17 organizations. A small portion of the gate does go to fund the live entertainment, but the WNA pays for most of the Taste’s entertainment budget from the proceeds of its two beer booths, which certainly did a roaring trade as the thirsty hordes worked up a thirst rocking out all for a good cause.

The Taste was a hit from the beginning, drawing crowds of around 10,000 supporters. Now, 36 years later, it’s grown to be a major event in the Chicagoland summer charitable (and fun-weekend) landscape, and Byline was honored to be represented as a sponsor, as the more-than-300 event volunteers literally wore our name on their backs as they worked the crowds all weekend long.

This year, more than 50,000 revelers packed the streets during the two-day, multi-block event based on Lincoln Avenue between Fullerton and Wrightwood to mix and mingle among the more than 100 food and craft vendors, two main entertainment stages featuring regional and national acts, wine and whiskey tastings, and a Kids’ Carnival Area offering everything from pony rides to art, kid-friendly rides and more.

A relatively recent addition to the Taste included what has quickly become a hit in its own right: the stand-alone “Chocolate Fest” area, which drew its own dedicated devotees and tasters both days. We’re willing to bet it’ll be back next year…and that we will, too.

Byline has been a proud part of Chicagoland for over 100 years, and we take our responsibility to our neighborhoods very seriously. It’s an honor to be a trusted bank where we live and work, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to give back to the people who keep each of our diverse communities strong and vibrant. We’re just where we want to be.

To find out how Byline could support your event, contact us.