Chicago announces the return of popular holiday and event traditions in the city – NBC Chicago
After a holiday season that saw the cancellation of several popular traditions in Chicago, the city has announced the return of some of the most beloved fall and winter events and activities.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said on Thursday that in-person festivities would return this year, starting with Halloween.
According to the mayor’s office and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Halloween community events will return across town.
Plus, winter traditions will return to Millennium Park, including ice skating and the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony, which takes place on November 19.
Last year, the Christmas tree lighting ceremony went virtually and the Millennium Park McCormick Tribune rink closed for the season.
The announcement comes at a time when the city is recording an average of 422 new cases of coronavirus per day, as well as 31 hospitalizations and four deaths.
Already, some major outdoor events like the Chicago Pride Parade have announced cancellations this fall, but others, including a number of festivals and the Bank of America Chicago Marathon are still scheduled. More recently, events like Pitchfork and Riot Fest have taken place in the city.
While Chicago health officials have said data so far has not shown the need for additional restrictions, the city’s top doctor said the colder seasons come with their own concerns.
“I would be stupid not to worry about fall and winter at all,” Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr Allison Arwady said Tuesday.
She added that as authorities prepare not only for the coronavirus, but for cold and flu season, it may be of concern.
“If we see a pattern where fall and winter don’t just become cold and flu season, but sort of cold, flu and COVID season, it becomes more of a regular respiratory virus,” so yeah, i’m a little worried, ”she said. , urging people to get the flu shot and get the COVID shot.
But when it comes to events and activities, Arwady said the city will “follow our data.”
“Our goal, you have heard me say it time and time again, is to stay open and to be cautious,” she said. “If we have signs that COVID or COVID and the flu together are seriously threatening our health system, or if we have had a new variant, where for example the virus … where the vaccine was no longer protective against the virus or others – you know I can’t predict with a crystal ball – we might have some major issues … we definitely have the potential to have some trouble, so hopefully we don’t need to to do more aggressive things, but we will, if we start to threaten our health care system, or if things change so much that we have to back down. ”