coronavirus illinois

Suburbs Cancel Memorial Day, Fourth of July Celebrations Over Coronavirus Crisis

The cancellations come as residents across the state question how long the stay-at-home order will last

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Some suburbs have already canceled Memorial Day and Fourth of July celebrations with the fate of Illinois' summer unclear as the state continues its battle with coronavirus.

Beecher announced this week that its annual Fourth of July festival has been canceled.

"We believe it is in the best interest of our patrons, volunteers and commissioners," the Beecher Fourth of July Commission wrote in a statement. "We will greatly miss celebrating with our community and very much look forward to gathering again in the future."

In Lisle, the popular Eyes to the Skies festival held over the Fourth of July holiday.

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"It is with great sadness that we are announcing that the 2020 Eyes to the Skies Festival and Carnival will not be held this year," the festival's website reads. "While this decision comes at a time of universal uncertainty, we take the safety and health of our attendees, volunteers, artists, vendors, sponsors and community very seriously.We will be back in 2021 on July 2nd, 3rd and 4th."

In Arlington Heights, the annual Memorial Day Parade was canceled, but officials said the city will record its 2020 Memorial Day Ceremony for broadcast on May 25.

"As you know, the Memorial Day Ceremony addresses the true reason for Memorial Day – to honor and remember our Nation’s Fallen Heroes," Greg Padovani, chairman of the Veterans Memorial Committee of Arlington Heights said in a statement.

The Fourth of July Parade in Carol Stream, a tradition since 1987, has also been canceled.

"Thanks to all the residents, volunteers, fundraising partners and participants for your support of the parade," the event's website reads. "We look forward to seeing you all at the 2021 July 4th Parade."

Chicago's Navy Pier remains closed due to a statewide stay-at-home order but no decision has been announced on the iconic fireworks display put on each Fourth of July at the venue.

Meanwhile, major Chicago festivals like those celebrating blues and gospel music in the city have been canceled.

Some locations in the city and its suburbs have started postponing deadlines and even canceling summer camp programs.

The cancellations come as residents across the state question how long the stay-at-home order will last. Currently, the order is set to expire on April 30, but officials have indicated that deadline will likely be extended.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Tuesday she expects the order could continue well into May and possibly even June.

"April 30 is no longer, I think, a viable date," Lightfoot said on a conference call with reporters. "I would expect an extension of the stay-at-home order and the other orders that were put in place as a result of the response to COVID-19 to go through sometime in May. It certainly could go into June."

Gov. J.B. Pritzker declined to give a definitive answers on if the order will be extended and for how long, but noted Tuesday that changes are expected.

"We will be making changes, but it is true that [the order] is working," Pritzker said. "It seems to me to remove it entirely is to open everything back up to infection."

Pritzker had earlier said that models now indicate Illinois' peak may not be reached until mid-May, a delay that comes from the state flattening its curve of cases.

Since the first cases in the state were confirmed in January, the total number of infections across Illinois has risen to 33,059 as of Tuesday. The statewide death toll from the virus now sits at 1,468. Almost all of Illinois' 102 counties are now reporting cases.

Multiple suburbs in the Chicago area now require residents to cover their faces in public places.

Protests over the restrictions have taken place at state capitals, including a handful of people who demonstrated Sunday in Springfield.

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