The show will go on; Elk Grove Village mayor says summer concerts will take place
Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson said regularly-scheduled events -- including the village's popular summer concert series -- will take place this year, amid increasing confidence in the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.
While some suburbs are calling off their summer fests for a second year because of the pandemic, or postponing them until later in the year, Elk Grove is moving forward with its concert series that draws tens of thousands to the village every year.
"We're going to be firm but flexible. So if we have to make modifications to make it work, we will, but we will be having our concerts this summer," Johnson said during a village board meeting Tuesday night. "They're going to occur."
Johnson made the declaration on the same day signups began for a local vaccine clinic that will be hosted by the village next Tuesday. Elk Grove obtained a supply of 1,550 Pfizer shots to distribute to residents 65 and older.
Besides the concerts, plans also are going forward for the village's annual Memorial Day ceremony in May; Rotary Fest in June; a Play, Picnic & Party event in July; and the Hometown Parade and Oktoberfest in September.
Postponed from last July, the rescheduled 12th annual Mid-Summer Classics Concert Series is set to kick off Saturday, July 4 with rock group Daughtry. They're scheduled to perform as part of an annual Lions Club festival and village fireworks at Rotary Green on Lions Drive. The rest of the concert series is set for Tuesday nights in July next to village hall and the library.
Johnson said concert promoter Entertainment Management Group is in negotiations to get a new performer for July 13, in place of KC and The Sunshine Band, which has canceled its entire tour for 2021.
Loverboy, the 1980s rock group, is set to perform July 20.
The Beach Boys, headed by co-founder Mike Love, will close out the series July 27.
The 2019 concert series registered a record attendance of 78,000 during five shows.
Johnson expressed confidence in the ability to host large-scale events after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released long-awaited guidance Monday stating that fully vaccinated people could gather with others indoors without wearing a mask or social distancing.
The mayor also pointed to President Joe Biden's declaration that there will be enough vaccines for all adults by the end of May.
"We're looking forward to getting this village -- this country -- back to normal," Johnson said. "This vaccine is working. It's doing what it's supposed to."
In Elk Grove, officials learned Monday afternoon that they'd be able to get a supply of the vaccine through a partnership with Osco. After Johnson announced the news in a Tuesday morning robocall, a village hall call center became inundated with requests for appointments.
For those who got an appointment, the vaccinations will take place next Tuesday at the Pavilion. Johnson is optimistic the village may be able to offer another round of shots in the near future, and expand the pool to those under 65.