Antioch, Round Lake Beach reschedule fireworks shows
About a month after drought conditions forced Antioch to postpone its Fourth of July fireworks show, officials have rescheduled the event.
The show will go on at the village-approved 99 Year Street Dance on Sept. 22 in honor of the Antioch Volunteer Fire Department's 99th anniversary and to raise funds for next year's centennial celebration.
"This kind of just was a natural fit," said Shawn Roby, parks and recreation director. "We hadn't fired (the fireworks) off, and ... it only made sense that we create an event that would help (the Antioch Firefighter's Association) to fundraise for next year."
The event will be in the street at 876 Toft Ave., adjacent to the village hall parking lot, from 5 to 11 p.m. Music will be provided by two bands, Modern Day Romeos and Bella Cain, which will alternate sets, and food and beverages will be sold. Proceeds from the event will benefit the firefighter's association.
Roby said the cost of the fireworks, which already been covered in a contract, will be about $16,000 in village funds. He said the village will be largely reimbursed by the association.
Deputy Chief Chris Lienhardt said the firemen's street dance used to be an annual event but was discontinued about 15 years ago and replaced by other events, such as the pancake breakfast fundraiser.
"It's perfect timing," Lienhardt said. "It's a test run for next year's 100-year anniversary, and it gives the community an event."
Mayor Larry Hanson said he was pleased the village will be able to honor "the volunteerism of the community."
"Years of volunteering for us as our emergency response for fire -- weather permitting -- is a great reason to use (the fireworks)," Hanson said.
If the street dance is successful this year, it may even become an annual fall event, Roby said.
Lienhardt said the department concluded that dry weather conditions have improved in recent weeks, and it will likely be safe to set off fireworks next month. The shoot-off location will remain at the Bandshell.
Antioch was one of five communities in Lake County to cancel Independence Day fireworks for safety reasons associated with the drought.
Of the other communities, the Round Lake Area Park District has rescheduled its show for Sept. 2 at Hook Lake at 6 p.m. and Grandwood Park has set its show for Oct. 6. Wauconda have yet to reschedule.
Mundelein may be on its way to canceling completely. Assistant Village Manager Michael Flynn said because the fireworks were scheduled for the end of Mundelein Community Days, Mayor Kenneth H. Kessler asked for input from the planning committee. Flynn said the committee recommended calling off the show.