Orland Park

Suburban Orland Park Set to Allow Outdoor Concerts to Resume in August

The Governor's office says the village risks liability if they move forward with the plan

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The show will go on in south suburban Orland Park, as the village is planning to resume its concert series at Centennial Park West on August 22.

The village's plan is set to move forward, even though the office of Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has cautioned towns and villages to avoid large gatherings and events as the state continues to fight the spread of the coronavirus.

Mayor Keith Pekau said he expects about 2,000 to 3,000 people will attend the concerts, which is about 20 percent of the capacity of Centennial Park West. 

He said the area is large enough for people to stay socially-distanced.

“We all want to return to normal, but we want to do it safely.  We want to do it smartly,” Pekau said.

Pekau told NBC 5 about a thousand people attended the village’s Fourth of July celebration.

Despite the optimism of some officials, not everyone is happy about the concerts.

“We have worked so hard in this state to get where we are and to do foolish things like this, you’re just asking for trouble,” said Orland Park resident Jayne Panka.

The village is charging for tickets to the concert series, which kicks off with a performance by Tommy James and the Shondells on Aug. 22.  Blue Oyster Cult is scheduled to perform in early September as well.

“You’re putting on a great event for the public and that’s our first goal,” Pekau said.  “Obviously, this year, with COVID, it’s going to be pretty hard to break even.”

A spokesperson for Pritzker's office said the Restore Illinois plan lays out public health guidelines to keep people safe and the Village of Orland Park risks liability if that public health guidance is disregarded. 

Additionally, the governor urges anyone attending events this summer to wear a face covering and keep physical distance.

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