Illinois city cancels July 4 parade over COVID-19 concerns but allows Juneteenth and Pride celebrations

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The city of Evanston, Illinois, located just north of Chicago, joined communities across the U.S. in celebrating their first in-person Juneteenth parade Saturday, but some have been left wondering why celebrations for the nation’s Independence Day have been canceled. The Evanston Fourth of July Association voted to cancel the town’s Independence Day events earlier in 2020 and opt for a virtual celebration instead — citing concerns over the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. “Based on concern for public health due to the unpredictability of the pandemic’s impact, vaccination rates, and in cooperation with our local authorities, the Trustees…voted to cancel the Fun Run, Parade, Palatine Concert Band performance and Lakefront Fireworks show on July 4, 2021,” the board wrote in a statement. But some took to social media to voice their frustration over the decision. “My home town of Evanston, Illinois is having a Juneteenth Parade and a Gay Pride Parade, but is canceling the 4th of July Parade & Fireworks,” Tom Bevan, co-founder and president of Real Clear Politics, wrote on Twitter. The board argued they were limited by time restraints and an unclear future during the pandemic. “We made the decision in March based on the information that we had at that time,” Trustee and Celebration Manager Jamie Black told Fox News. “There are deadlines for permits and to secure the fireworks, as well as taking applications for the parade that happen early in the year.” “We erred on the side of caution. If things weren’t better, we would have been criticized for being a super spreader event,” he added.

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