OAK PARK, Ill. (CBS) — The City of Chicago and the State of Illinois are set to fully reopen in just a matter of days, but that does not mean everything is going back to normal just yet.
Oak Park won’t have a Fourth of July parade or fireworks for the second year in a row. The village said in a statement, “Emerging from the pandemic is not a sprint.”READ MORE: Jussie Smollett Trial: Defense Attorney Calls For Mistrial And Accuses Judge Of Lunging At Her; Judge Denies Claims And Motion
Paul Gegenheimer, a lifelong Oak Park resident, looked back on past parades that started on his street.
“It generally draws a good crowd,” he said. “Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Brownies, high school band, fire trucks.”
But this year the streets will remain quiet as the village cited its “cautious” approach.
It’s an approach shared by Evanston’s Fourth of July Association, which announced they, too, would be canceling festivities.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Disturbance Brings Chance Of Rain-Snow Mix To Our North Overnight
Further southwest, Ribfest, the summer event that brings people together to chow down on ribs for charity, has been canceled in Romeoville.
The move was surprising to some as the state is days away from reopening, but it was not surprising to Dr. Emily Landon with UChicago Medicine.
“The pandemic isn’t completely gone,” she said.
With roughly half of residents fully vaccinated, the Village of Oak Park said smaller gatherings like the Juneteenth ceremony last weekend are different because the Fourth of July parade “attracts thousands, “many are children who are not yet eligible to be vaccinated,” and the parade is a “huge logistical undertaking.”MORE NEWS: View Live Radar
“Just because we’re reopening everything does not mean that every place is going to choose to do that,” Landon said.