Hoffman Estates reinstating popular tradition of block parties
Hoffman Estates, a village that has traditionally embraced block parties, will be able to do so again this summer as long as COVID-19 health metrics don't take an unexpected turn for the worse.
Village board members this week unanimously directed the staff to begin processing applications again, but they suggested the paperwork include a provision to cancel if necessary.
"I would say it's definitely something to go with, at the residents' discretions," Trustee Karen Mills said. "But it should be noted on the contract that if state regulations change that we would have to change the agreement with them, just so they're aware of it that there's that clause."
A permit is required to hold a block party in Hoffman Estates, but none were authorized in 2020 due to the pandemic. A more typical 26 were issued during 2019.
Suzanne Ostrovsky, assistant to the village manager, advised the board that every nearby community Hoffman Estates surveyed also plans to allow block parties, some with the requirement that Illinois' Phase Five of reopening actually starts first, as it's scheduled to this Friday.
Though the village board has canceled its Northwest Fourth Fest in early July for the second year in a row, trustees felt strongly the time was right for smaller gatherings of residents to begin again.
"I think we should go forward," Mayor Bill McLeod said. "I think people have to plan them, and all signs are that everything's going to be opened up on June 11 so I think we should make it a go. They're not as big or crowded events as other events either."
Trustees had no argument against the plan as long as the village kept an eye on all relevant factors.
"I agree with the mayor on that, that we should, as long as we're conforming to whatever the state policy is," Trustee Michael Gaeta said. "To open it back up again, to allow the block parties, yes, I'm all in favor of it."