CONTACT: Michael Benard, Executive Director
Wheaton Park District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 14, 2021
Wheaton, IL – The Wheaton Park District and Wheaton Chamber of Commerce have made the extremely difficult decision to cancel the Taste of Wheaton again in 2021, which was set to take place June 3-6. The downtown Wheaton Streetscape Project has begun on Liberty Street and eliminates the location of the carnival for the event in both 2021 and 2022. The carnival provided a significant source of revenue and helped to fund the entertainment, rental equipment, and City services required to safely host the event. The current State of Illinois Phase 4 Restore Illinois Plan only allows a venue such as Memorial Park to operate at 25% capacity, which creates a significant challenge for the sustainability of the event.
The carnival and limited capacity are not the only hurdles the fest would face. Ongoing restrictions are expected to additionally limit many areas of the event programming the community has come to love, such as the craft fair, business expo, kids’ activities, and the more than 25 food vendors along Wheaton Avenue.
The partnership between the Wheaton Park District and Wheaton Chamber of Commerce has been integral in providing the Taste of Wheaton for the past 11 years. The committee is hopeful for the fest’s return in 2022 with lessened State restrictions but wants to ensure the event’s fiscal sustainability is not jeopardized with the carnival not set to return until 2023 before making an official decision.
The Wheaton Park District plans to begin the new Memorial Park Summer Entertainment Series in early June and will follow capacity limits set by state regulations at the time of the events. Cosley Zoo Run for the Animals is still set to take place Saturday, June 5 with reduced capacity. The run will offer a virtual option for those interested in participating and supporting the zoo outside the planned organized event. More information will be provided to the community as it becomes available.
In the meantime, please visit wheatonparkdistrict.com for a list of upcoming events hosted by the Wheaton Park District.