CHICAGO (CBS) — The Fourth of July will look a lot different this year due to COVID-19.
For some, it means watching fireworks from their cars. For others, it’s virtual.
CBS 2’s Steven Graves has more from Orland Park where the show will go on.
At Centennial Park, people can get out of cars and lay out on the grass. There’s even a concert. Social distancing is encouraged, but the village’s leader said he doesn’t think it will be a problem.
Fireworks and fun, the staples of any Fourth of July celebration. And the mayor of Orland Park still thinks that can go on, even in the COVID-19 pandemic.
“All open space, all where the music can be heard, we’re going to encourage people to space out,” said Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau.
A concert will still go on, speakers will blast music and fireworks will also be shot higher in the sky. Only vehicles with village stickers can enter the park. But anyone is allowed to walk in. And if crowds match past events, it could be thousands who attend.
Masks are not required, because social distancing is encouraged. But don’t expect strict enforcement.
“Usually a polite request is plenty. And based on what we’ve seen throughout the whole village, people have been very compliant,” Pekau said.
The mayor said he’s gotten opposition, but Pekau believes the plan is safe. But other cities and towns have made changes.
Chicago canceled fireworks at Navy Pier. In Bridgeview, the site of a drive-in movie theater, will turn into a drive-up fireworks display.
But with the inevitable gatherings and large celebrations, doctors continue to push safety measures.
“If you’re coming to watch fireworks, you should stay within your household unit and those people you have contact with and make sure you’re keeping a distance from others,” said Doctor Susan Bleasdale of the University of Illinois at Chicago. “Because those other people may have had some additional encounters over the last week since we have opened into Phase 4.”
Doctor Bleasdale also urge people to be mindful of safety when drinking. Also, with large picnic or potluck-like meals, making sure to wash hands and those utensils often.
The following are links to fireworks events in other areas: