New location, restaurants and bands add slightly different flavor to Taste of Glen Ellyn
The Taste of Glen Ellyn will open Thursday, May 16, with a slightly different flavor, courtesy of a few new restaurants and a slight shift to the north.
The fest traditionally has been held on the south side of the railroad tracks, but was asked to move this year because of a land sale and some scheduled construction projects, said Dawn Smith, executive director of the Glen Ellyn Chamber of Commerce.
Happily, the four-day celebration isn't moving far from its former location.
"We sent out a survey and found people still want to have it downtown," Smith said.
A dozen local restaurants will set up shop along a downtown stretch of Main Street north of the tracks, between Crescent Boulevard and Pennsylvania Avenue.
"We're going to have it connected to the carnival, so there's no crossing of the tracks," Smith said. She said carnival rides and games will be in the same spot as usual, in the Glenwood lot west of Main Street.
The Glen Station Steakhouse is one of the two new restaurants joining the Taste this year. The restaurant, which opened in January, is located on Park Boulevard, near Crescent Boulevard.
The other is the 3/7 Pathway Café, a new eatery that recently debuted inside the Glen Ellyn Public Library. Smith said the cafe will offer Taste visitors grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup and ice cream sandwiches.
Flips, an eatery that specializes in gyros and Italian beef sandwiches, will be making its second appearance at the Taste, and Barone's, a longtime favorite, will be back with pizza.
On Friday, a new Shop-A-Thon from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. will precede the day's official festival start at 5 p.m.
Retailers will take their wares to the streets, closed for the festival, in a sort of expanded sidewalk sale.
"On top of the storefronts, we're also inviting all Glen Ellyn merchants to come downtown and have their own pop-up shops," Smith said.
Entertainment will include a variety of bands and community group performances.
"We have a brand new lineup of bands," Smith said. "Being the first festival before Memorial Day, there's a lot of availability. 7th heaven is the one we did keep. Their draw is insane."
The Main Stage, just south of Pennsylvania Avenue, will feature Thursday headliners Sealed With a Kiss at 5:30 p.m., 7th heaven at 8 p.m. Friday, Bad Medicine at 8:30 p.m. Saturday and Libido Funk Circus at 3 p.m. Sunday.
Community performers will include the Glenbard South High School Jazz Band, Alma Dance School, Yong in USA Martial Arts, McNulty Irish Dance, Trinity Irish Dance and groups from BR Ryall YMCA.
"Approximately every 30 minutes we have a new group coming on that is typically youth," Smith said.
The Taste also will host a Business and Arts and Crafts Fair west of Main Street.
This year's French Market will open two weeks earlier than it usually does to coincide with the Taste. The market's grand opening will be from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday in the Main Street train station south parking lot.
Smith said free parking during festival hours will be available in five lots along Duane Street, between Lorraine Street and Montclair Avenue.