Good News Sunday: Six Flags Great America to open April 24

  • Six Flags Great America in Gurnee will open April 24.

    Six Flags Great America in Gurnee will open April 24. Courtesy of Six Flags Great America

Updated 3/21/2021 10:09 AM
This column has been updated to include the correct timing of Elk Grove Village's vaccination clinic.

This is Good News Sunday, a compilation of some of the more upbeat and inspiring stories published by the Daily Herald during the previous week:

Six Flags Great America officials announced Thursday that the theme park is set to open on April 24.


The park will be limited to 25% capacity, which officials say they will enforce by having all guests use the online reservation system introduced last year.

"Our team is eager to welcome back our guests in a safe environment, providing the much-needed fun we have all missed this past year," Six Flags Great America Park President Hank Salemi said in a prepared statement.

State officials allowed the theme park to open last year only in late November for the Holiday in the Park season, and no rides were in operation.

This year, everyone older than 2 will be required to wear masks, even when on roller coasters and other thrill rides. Visitors will go through temperature screenings before entering the park, as well as touchless security screening.

A "clean team" will sanitize high touchpoint areas. And hand sanitizer stations have been added throughout the park.

The park's safety plan was developed in consultation with epidemiologists, and officials said the plan meets or exceeds federal, state and local guidelines.

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The show will go on in Elk Grove Village

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. "They're going to occur."

Johnson made the declaration on the same day signups began for a local vaccine clinic hosted by the village last week. 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.

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Two Arlington Hts. girls earn Eagle Scout rank

A pair of Arlington Heights girls joined a historic group last month when they were honored as members of the first class of female Eagle Scouts in the country.

Madeline Painter and Skye Sonnabend are among the first 1,000 girls nationwide to achieve the rank and among the first 14 female Eagles in the Pathway to Adventure Council, which takes in more than 20,000 Scouts across Cook and Lake counties and Northwest Indiana.

Both girls joined scouting as soon as the national organization opened it up, starting in February of 2019. They joined Boy Scout Troop 32, sponsored by First Presbyterian Church of Arlington Heights, which was among the first troops locally to accept girls.

"Troop 32 is a place all types of Scouts can succeed," said Scoutmaster Patrick Painter, "boys or girls, high achievers or more relaxed personalities, outdoor types or more studious."

While the boys and girls in the troop meet together, the girls lead their own patrol and operate under the name G32. However, the requirements are the same for boys and girls in order to advance rank.

"It's great that the program has now been opened up to all youth," adds Assistant Scoutmaster Dan Sioui, "and we are happy that we can provide the framework for this."

Even so, aiming to become an Eagle Scout, the program's highest rank, was ambitious. Nationally, only 6% of Scouts achieve it, council members say.

For the full story, click here.

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