Sausage, sausage, sausage. Alligator sausage. Pita-wrapped sausage. Ten-inch sausage. Tribute-to-Mayor Daley sausage (served with sharp white cheddar, caramelized onions and dijon mustard). And even a sausage king, Nick Pobutsky, crowned because he raised $2,000 for the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
Thousands of Chicagoans enjoyed all of these meaty delights Saturday and Sunday, along with 10 live bands, including Sixteen Candles and the Smoking Popes, at the first-ever SausageFest Chicago.
Once the Lake View Music Festival, the event was retooled this year to focus on both food and live performances, according to festival manager Jim Rafferty.
"We wanted to serve sausage," Rafferty said Sunday, standing next to the sausage king and his sausage throne. "It's Chicago!"
The change seemed to go over well with the thousands of people who meandered through the sausage vendor booths set up on Sheffield between Addison and Waveland, shaded by the east wall of Wrigley Field.
"We love sausage," said Phil Lorenz, 32, of River North, who came to check out the festival with his wife, Jillian Lorenz, also 32. The couple had just finished up a 10-inch sausage from Genoa Italian Concessions. "This has a cool energy, and it smells like classic outdoor grilling. It's like a big neighborhood barbecue."
Check out some photos from this weekend's festival here: