Mundelein Community Days festival canceled due to pandemic

  • Attendees check out carnival games during the 2019 Mundelein Community Days event. This summer's event has been canceled because of the COVID-19 crisis.

    Attendees check out carnival games during the 2019 Mundelein Community Days event. This summer's event has been canceled because of the COVID-19 crisis. Daily Herald File Photo, 2019

 
 
Updated 5/12/2020 6:27 AM

You can add Mundelein Community Days to the growing list of suburban summer celebrations canceled because of the COVID-19 crisis.

The village board on Monday voted to scrap the usually annual event, which had been scheduled for July 2-5 and was expected to draw about 10,000 people.

 

In a separate vote, the board also canceled six free outdoor concerts that were to be held weekly starting May 24 through June 28 in Kracklauer Park. The fates of outdoor concerts scheduled for later in the summer haven't been decided.

Mundelein joins Vernon Hills, Lincolnshire, Highland Park, Arlington Heights, Wheaton, Carol Stream, Elgin and Mount Prospect among the Chicago-area communities that have canceled events on or around Independence Day because of the pandemic.

Mundelein's festival and concert cancellations were recommended by the Mundelein Community Days Commission, a volunteer group that oversees the events. Trustees on Monday approved the changes unanimously and without discussion.

After the meeting, Trustee Ray Semple called the vote "dreadful."

"I think we were all hoping that Illinois (COVID-19 cases) would've peaked and maybe we could've gotten it under the wire," he said.

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Trustee Dawn Abernathy said canceling Community Days breaks her heart.

"However, it is about safety for our residents, and that will always come first," she said.

Community Days typically features a carnival, food booths, games, musical performances, a parade and a fireworks show. Most events are held at or near Kracklauer Park.

As part of its decision Monday night, the village board agreed to explore options for community activities or events that could be held later in the year, if the disease no longer is as big of a threat. That includes the Miss Mundelein Pageant and a fireworks show, both of which usually are held during Community Days.

The cancellations came just two weeks after the board voted to refund more than $28,000 in sponsorship donations, fees and deposits local businesses had made for the festival. That same night, the board voted to cancel Mundelein's annual Memorial Day parade, which would've been later this month.

"It's a weird year," Semple said.

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