By Marissa Plescia


Wheaton will celebrate the bicycle and bicycle riding Saturday during its fourth annual Bike Fest in Memorial Park.

The free event runs from 10 a.m. until noon in Memorial Park at Union Avenue and Hale Street in downtown.

It will open with a bike parade led by members of the police department’s bike patrol unit and bicycle cops from the DuPage County sheriff’s office and include an appearance by the Wheaton Municipal Band. Bike riders of any age are invited to join in the parade that will proceed at a leisurely pace for four blocks.

The fest also will feature a bicycle decorating contest, with winners eligible for gift certificates and bike-related gifts.

A DJ will provide music while police officers conduct a bike rodeo for kids that will include an obstacle course and lessons about bicycle safety.

A variety of vendors will be on hand with booths offering information about bike clubs, bike repairs and even Working Bikes, a nonprofit group that accepts bicycle donations.

The celebration will conclude with a group bike ride led by members of the Wheaton Bicycle Advisory Committee.

Paula Barrington, executive director of the Downtown Wheaton Association, said she’s most looking forward to the decorating contest.

“I’m always so impressed with how creative people can be with their bikes,” she said.

Barrington said participants often team with family and friends to come up with a theme for their entries. Last year a group of entrants all decorated their bikes to look like dinosaurs.

“It’s a way to promote a cycling lifestyle for all ages,” Barrington said. “It’s something you can enjoy well into the later years of your life.”

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