Despite pandemic, Island Lake officials moving forward with summer events
Island Lake officials are holding out hope they won't have to cancel the village's annual Independence Day parade and picnic because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the statewide stay-at-home order.
A fireworks show and a carnival set for later in July remain on the schedule for now, too.
After a lengthy discussion during Thursday night's village board meeting, trustees opted to reevaluate the schedule in June and decide then if it's safe -- or even permissible -- to stage the gatherings.
Now that Gov. J.B Pritzker has extended the stay-at-home order to May 30, however, the village's Memorial Day activity will be canceled, officials said.
A free outdoor concert scheduled for June likely will be canceled, too. A band hasn't yet been selected for the show.
"We can't congregate together like we did in the past," Mayor Charles Amrich said during the meeting, which was held remotely because of the stay-at-home order.
Trustee Chris Carlsen strongly opposed canceling the July events, calling them American traditions. Trustee Richard McLaughlin didn't want to cancel them, either.
But Trustee Harold England said fireworks and other Independence Day activities encourage people to have parties, which are discouraged by health experts trying to slow the spread of COVID-19.
But the village's attorney, David McArdle, revealed the company offered to waive a 50% cancellation fee if the board agrees to make a roughly $8,750 deposit that can be used for a fireworks display any time within the next year.
Trustees approved that deal unanimously.
Other suburbs are canceling spring and summer events because of the pandemic.
Memorial Day parades in Arlington Heights and Wauconda were among the first to fall. Lincolnshire's Memorial Day ceremony, normally held in Spring Lake Park, is being re-imagined and could end up as a livestreamed event, Village Manager Brad Burke said.
Mundelein's Memorial Day parade has been scrubbed but an online ceremony is in the works, Mayor Steve Lentz said.
The DuPage County Fair, Lisle's Eyes to the Skies hot air balloon festival and Carol Stream's Independence Day celebration have been axed.