Cream of Wheaton celebrates 40 years with live music, carnival, crafts and more June 2-5

Wheaton’s Cream returns to its debut after a two-year hiatus, with three blocks of carnival rides, local food, live entertainment, beer garden, trade show, Cosley Zoo Run for the Animals 5K/ 10K, and art and craft vendors.

The first Cream of Wheaton festival was held on May 8, 1982, featuring food stalls, a 10k run, and entertainment in the band’s shell. In 1983 a petting zoo was added to Cosley Animal Farm (now Cosley Zoo), along with an arts and crafts fair and carnival rides.

In 2009, the Wheaton Park District and the Wheaton Chamber of Commerce joined forces to combine two events, Cream of Wheaton and Autumn Fest. At this time, it was decided to rebrand the event as the Taste of Wheaton. Wheaton’s taste continued for the next 10 years until 2019. In 2019, this four-day festival attracted over 30,000 local and regional guests.

There has been no festival for two years due to downtown Wheaton streetscape construction and COVID-19 gathering limitations.

The annual festival will open Thursday, June 2 with free live music at the Memorial Park Bandshell. No ticket is necessary and seats are allocated in order of arrival.

On Thursday, the festival opens at 7 p.m. with Vital Signs, a local band featuring local surgeon Dr. Anthony Altimari, his daughter Emily and son Marc. Country rock trio Yankee Cowboy will perform from 8-9:30 p.m.

On Friday, the music scene opens with Chemically Imbalanced, which mixes sing-along classics with danceable rock hits, from 4-5:30 p.m.

Libido Funk Circus, performing music from the 1960s to today, will be on stage from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.


Nerdvana, a nerd band that dances to the best jams of the 90s, from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

On Saturday, Common Area Maintenance, which calls itself “quite possibly one of the top 100 cover bands made up solely of commercial real estate professionals in the city of Chicago,” will open the music stage at 10:45 a.m.

Nashville singer, songwriter and guitar picker Cody Joe Hodges kicks off his national summer tour of the Midwest this weekend with a performance at the Cream of Wheaton from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

BannedJoe, a rock band from Chicago, will perform from 3-5 p.m.

Planet Groove, a seven-piece band with a three-piece horn section, will perform from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Hi Infidelity, playing music from REO Speedwagon, Journey, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard and more, from 8-9:30 p.m.

On Sunday, Karla & the Phat Cats will bring a bluesy and jazzy experience to the festival from 1pm to 2:30pm

Wheaton’s rock band The Mixtape Collective will perform from 3-4:30 p.m., while festival favorites The Neverly Brothers will close the festival from 5-6:30 p.m.

Stop by the Arts and Crafts corner of Cream of Wheaton Friday-Sunday, June 3-5, along Karlskoga and Hale.
– Courtesy of Wheaton Park District

Check out the Arts and Crafts Corner along Karlskoga Avenue and Hale Street from 4-8 p.m. Friday, 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, and 1-6 p.m. Sunday.

The Wheaton Chamber of Commerce Trade Show will be open from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday along from Karlskoga Avenue and Hale Street.

More than 2,000 runners typically take part in the Cosley Zoo Run for the Animals 5K/10K & Kids’ 1/2 Mile on Saturday. The 5K/10K starts at 7:30 a.m. with the kids’ half-mile race at 8:45 a.m. Organized by the Cosley Foundation, the races raise funds for the animals at Wheaton’s Cosley Zoo as well as exhibit development projects, public programs and conservation. projects.

Food Vendor Row on Karlskoga Avenue includes: Choun’s Thai Restaurant, Gino’s East, 302, Genoa Italian Concession, Dippin Dots, Barone’s, Taco Factory, R&S Concession, Papa Fresco’s, and Kool Kat Ice Cream.

Until dusk, try 2-for-1 mini golf starting at 10 a.m. Thursday, 3 p.m. Friday, and noon Saturday and Sunday at Clocktower Mini Golf.

Children’s activities are offered from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at Memorial Park.

The Carnival on Liberty Drive, from Main Street to Wheaton Avenue, will be open from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.

Discounted wristbands for $25 will be sold through June 1 at the Community Center, 1777 S. Blanchard St., and the DuPage County Historical Museum, 102 E. Wesley St.

All-you-can-eat carnival bracelets for $30 are valid for one day at certain times: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

There will be three blocks of carnival rides during Wheaton's Annual Cream June 2-5 on Liberty Drive from Main Street to Wheaton Avenue.

There will be three blocks of carnival rides during Wheaton’s Annual Cream June 2-5 on Liberty Drive from Main Street to Wheaton Avenue.
– Courtesy of Wheaton Park District

Park your bikes with the bike valet offered by the Wheaton Bicycle Advisory Commission from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday on Wheaton and Union Avenue.

For more information, go to For more information on the trade show, go to

About Edward Weddle

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