WHEATON – Attendees of the sixth annual Taste of Wheaton can get even more of the city's best eats this weekend than in years past.
The event, which begins with a ribbon cutting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Memorial Park will now be four days long, complete with alcohol served throughout.
Both changes were made by the City Council earlier this year, and were suggested by city staff due to the Taste’s popularity and success controlling alcohol sales, said Wheaton Mayor Mike Gresk
“Over the years, this has been a gradual and measured approach to the service of liquor,” he said. “Then the Downtown Wheaton Association and the Chamber of Commerce asked if they could (allow liquor throughout) and because it had been handled well, because it was well-received in the community, those were licenses we were more than happy to extend.”
The Taste will start its food sampling Thursday with a rather specific focus: pizza. Brick’s, Evviva, Gino’s East, Jack Straw’s, Jet’s and more will be serving up “Slices of Wheaton” for $2 apiece.
The additional three days will feature 18 other vendors, six of whom are from the Wheaton area. Wheaton brewer Dry City Brew Works will be on site for several days and the entertainment bill is filled with local talent.
“We have started calling it the best party for Wheaton,” said Wheaton Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kerry O’Brien. “It’s very community-oriented. Some taste festivals get really big and draw from a really big region, and this one is very focused on the city. I think people like that.”
The festival returns at 4 p.m. Friday, with the Vintage Rides car show, entertainment and 2-for-1 mini golf at Prairie Path Mini Golf and Clocktower Commons.
On Saturday, the Cosley Run for the Animals 5K/10K begins at 7:30 a.m.
All four days will include a beer garden, a market place and carnival rides.
For more information and a full list of events and times, visit www.wheatonparkdistrict.com/taste.
Bike valet available
Volunteers from the city's Bicycle Advisory Committee will take bikes from visitors at Karlskoga Avenue on the south side of Memorial Park and provide them with a numbered ticket on Saturday during the festival.
Food Vendor Row in Memorial Park – Wheaton Avenue
Cape May Crab CakesEvviva Pizzeria & CafeGenoa ItalianGino’s East Pizza*Great Lakes Kettle CornJet’s Pizza*Jones ConcessionJust of DuPageKona Ice*Pad ThaiPop-A-HarrysRS ConcessionsSlinkysTaco RealWith Love Inc.
Food Vendors in Memorial Park – Hale Street
The Bank Restaurant & Bar*The Cellar Bistro*Ivy Restaurant*
*Local Business Vendor