Island Lake scraps upcoming parade, but fireworks show will go on
Island Lake officials have scrapped the town's annual Independence Day parade and family picnic because of the COVID-19 pandemic -- but a fireworks show planned for later in July will be held.
The village board on Thursday unanimously agreed to cancel the parade and the picnic, as well as a three-day carnival and a car show scheduled for two weeks later and a pair of outdoor concerts.
But a majority of trustees said they wanted to keep the July 18 fireworks show on the calendar. Proponents noted fireworks doesn't present as great a health risk as some events because they're outdoors and can be observed from vantage points throughout town.
Trustee Harold England said everyone he's spoken with about the fireworks show said the village shouldn't cancel.
Officials will encourage people who host viewing parties to keep groups to less than 10 people and maintain other social distancing rules.
Trustee Chris Carlsen suggested the village offer a live online video of the fireworks display for people who can't go outside to watch the pyrotechnics. That idea was well-received by other trustees.
Before the board moved onto the next item on the agenda, village Treasurer Ed McGinty warned that the display by Melrose Pyrotechnics will cost the town $17,500 at a time when revenue projections are shrinking because of the COVID-19 crisis.
"I think it's a waste of taxpayers' money," he said.
Trustee Charles Cermak agreed, calling the show fiscally irresponsible.
Many suburbs have canceled all public events this summer because of the pandemic.
Whereas many Chicago-area government agencies are holding meetings remotely because of the coronavirus, Mayor Charles Amrich and all the trustees were in the boardroom at village hall for Thursday's meeting. The public could observe the meeting via video conferencing software.