Taste of Des Plaines canceled due to pandemic for second straight year

  • The Millennials perform during the 2019 Taste of Des Plaines festival. The fest has been canceled this year because of the COVID-19 crisis.

    The Millennials perform during the 2019 Taste of Des Plaines festival. The fest has been canceled this year because of the COVID-19 crisis. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer, 2019

 
 
Updated 3/16/2021 12:14 PM

Even as suburbanites get vaccinated against COVID-19, the Taste of Des Plaines festival has been canceled because of the pandemic for the second straight year.

The festival typically is held over two days in June.

 

"We hold our event so early in the year in June that we feel like it's just a little too early," City Manager Mike Bartholomew explained during Monday's city council meeting.

Bartholomew announced the cancellation during the meeting. The first four Friday Nights Live! events planned for the summer have been scrapped, too, he said.

Taste of Des Plaines usually features live music, food vendors and other attractions. The Friday Nights Live! series typically starts in June and features performers in Metropolitan Square.

The cancellations may not be the last of the summer in Des Plaines. Mayor Matthew Bogusz told aldermen they should start thinking about canceling Independence Day activities, too.

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"If we're all not vaccinated as a city, I think it would be foolish of us to invite people to congregate like that," Bogusz said.

Third Ward Alderman Denise Rodd agreed.

"As much as we want it to happen, it might just be a little bit too soon," Rodd said.

Bogusz suggested city officials come up with alternative Independence Day events that would allow people to celebrate safely, such as a parade that winds through neighborhoods rather than one that forces spectators to congregate on a short route.

Last year, the city organized a home-and-business patriotic decorating contest and awarded gift cards to the winners.

A decision on whether to cancel Independence Day events is needed "in the next couple of weeks," Bartholomew said.

Des Plaines officials will continue monitoring the state's reopening plans and can consider adjusting events as things evolve, city spokeswoman Jennie Vana said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"We very much look forward to holding these events again when it's safe to do so," Vana said.

While Des Plaines is canceling summer events, officials in other suburbs have pledged their shows will go on. Elk Grove Village's summer concert series will be staged as planned, Mayor Craig Johnson recently announced. Planning for the Libertyville Days festival is moving forward, too.

In contrast, the Buffalo Grove Symphonic Band's regular concert series in that suburb, including a traditional Fourth of July concert, have been canceled. And the fate of the Buffalo Grove Days festival hasn't been determined.

Vernon Hills' Summer Celebration festival could be on the chopping block, too.

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