WHEATON – The Taste of Wheaton is set to serve up some food and fun during its run from May 31 to June 3 in downtown Wheaton.
Once again, festival organizers will pay homage to the Taste of Wheaton's predecessor, Cream of Wheaton. During the festival's opening day May 31, the event will feature a "Throwback Thursday" to the Cream of Wheaton.
Organizers debuted Throwback Thursday last year, to great success.
"It made a lot of people happy with some fond memories," Wheaton Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kerry O'Brien said. "Everybody had kind of a fondness for that name. The first 500 people [who attend the festival that day] will get a little bottle opener that says Cream of Wheaton on it."
In 2009, the Wheaton Park District and Wheaton Chamber of Commerce teamed up to create the Taste of Wheaton. Previously, the Park District had organized the Cream of Wheaton, and the chamber had hosted the Wheaton Autumn Fest.
O'Brien said the collaboration has proven to be successful.
"We've really worked on getting to know each other better and fine-tuning our resources so we can put on the best event for our community," O'Brien said.
The Taste of Wheaton will take place at Memorial Park, 208 W. Union Ave., and there will be other activities throughout the downtown. Admission to the festival is free.
In conjunction with the festival, the 37th annual Cosley Zoo Run for the Animals 5K/10K will take place June 2. The run is one of the zoo’s biggest regular fundraisers, supporting the development and renovation of its exhibits and the stewardship of its animals and the environment. A kids' race – the half-mile Zippity Zoo Run – also will be June 2.
The festival will feature carnival rides along Liberty Drive, an arts and crafts fair, mini golf and daily live entertainment. The Downtown Wheaton Association's Vintage Rides car show will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. June 1 on Hale Street.
Children will find plenty to do at the festival. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 2, there will be activities for kids on Hale Street.
"We're adding some performances from local music and dance schools," O'Brien said. "They want a chance to perform for their community, and we want to give them a chance to show what they've been practicing. We've had no problem getting participants, and hopefully we will have a nice audience for them."
During the Taste of Wheaton, a local family will run a lemonade stand in an effort to raise funds and awareness for the fight against childhood cancer. The Markiewicz family will host a lemonade stand from June 1 through 3 at their home at 408 S. Naperville Road during Lemonade Days. The lemonade stand will raise money for childhood cancer research through Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.
The stand will be open from 3:30 to 6 p.m. June 1 and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 2 and 3. The family hopes to raise more than $1,200.
If you go
WHAT: Taste of Wheaton
WHEN: May 31 to June 3
WHERE: Memorial Park, 208 W. Union Ave., Wheaton
COST: Free admission