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Taste of River North 2013 Preview: Music, Food, Vendors and More

 A look back at snapshots from the 2012 Taste of River North as this year's event approaches.
Taste of River North
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RIVER NORTH — In a neighborhood already known for its restaurants, entertainment and night life, you can expect a pretty good show when residents and businesses put their heads together for a three-day bash.

The 12th annual Taste of River North festival kicks off Friday and is expected to bring thousands of residents and visitors to A. Montgomery Ward Park and the surrounding streets.

"You see all walks of life. Over the last five years, it's been busier than ever," said Danny McCambridge of Citizen Bar, which will sling beer, wine and other drinks at the weekend fest.

"It's a great mix of just the general public, new faces, people from out of town, people we haven't seen before and our core regulars hanging out at the side of the tent."

Paulette Rodriguez, vice president of the River North Residents Association, said  that's exactly the point.

"It's as much for River North residents as it is for surrounding community, all of Chicago, and beyond," Rodriguez said of the event that highlights "some of the best" the neighborhood has to offer.

That includes restaurants like American Junkie, Green Door Tavern and Theory, and drinks from Citizen and Goose Island.

As for music, all three days are stacked: Lucky Boys Confusion headlines Friday, local favorite cover band Sixteen Candles tops Saturday's lineup, and Sunday wraps with old-school rock 'n' rollers The Sheepdogs.

Taste of River North runs from 5-10 p.m. Friday, noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday at A. Montgomery Ward Park. A $5 donation is suggested at the door, which helps fund future community events.