Organizers of several Lake County events and festivals are evaluating their options after the July 4 Highland Park parade shooting, relying on social media and word-of-mouth to help share news of cancellations.
The city of Highland Park canceled Food Truck Thursdays for July 7 and 14, Takeout Tuesday at The Lot on July 12 and the World Music Fest at The Lot on July 16.
“The devastating attack at the city’s Fourth of July parade was a horrific, heartbreaking incident for a close-knit community that values connections between neighbors and treasures opportunities to gather together,” a city news release said.
Ravinia Festival in Highland Park canceled its schedule of all concerts and events through Sunday, with some postponed. Ticket holders of impacted concerts will receive full refunds by Aug. 1.
“This decision was made after careful consideration,” Ravinia Festival said on Facebook.
In nearby Libertyville, the village’s Dog Days of Summer event scheduled for this weekend is still on.
“It was a different Fourth of July for a lot of people,” said Dan Love, a Libertyville trustee and chairperson for the event, adding, “I have asked for more police presence.”
Dog Days of Summer will be in Cook Park in downtown Libertyville from Friday through Sunday. Dogs will splash in a 30,000-gallon pool. The schedule also features a Sunday pet blessing and pet parade.
“It’s just a great family event and dogs are the center of families,” Love said. “They’re part of the heart and fabric of a family. And when you see these young children, these little kids, watch these dogs jump into the pool water, and end up getting splashed by the water. And, they’re running and laughing and having a good time … that’s what life’s about.
“It’s not about the sick people that start shooting people,” he continued. “You never really get a chance to hear about the good things and fun things in life.”
Love encouraged those planning to attend the Dog Days of Summer to, “have a great time.”
Also still on is the two-day Scoop Waukegan downtown event starting Friday and featuring cars and entertainment.
“The city of Waukegan does not share specific security plans for major events, but can confirm there will be increased security compared to previous Waukegan Scoop events,” city spokesman Brad Goodman said.
Waukegan Mayor Ann B. Taylor said, “Gun violence is a poison to our nation. Everyone in Highland Park and its neighboring communities will be forced to relive the mental trauma on every Fourth of July.”
Celebrate Highwood, an organization that produces Highwood events and festivals, canceled Wednesday’s Gourmet Market to make way for an Everts Park candlelight vigil at 6:30 p.m.
With no vendors, sponsors or music, “We want Everts Park to become a haven for community to gather and honor the victims, survivors and all those impacted by this senseless tragedy,” a Celebrate Highwood statement said.
M. Brad Slavin, Celebrate Highwood president, said, “We are in constant communication with the local Highwood police to ensure the safety and security of any events produced by Celebrate Highwood.
“As an organization, we have always had a strong police presence at our festivals and will continue to be vigilant and coordinate any additional needs that are deemed necessary,” he said.
The city of Highwood offered a statement extending, “our deepest sympathies. We are horrified by the violence and will stand in support of our neighboring community of Highland Park, first responders and public service agencies at this difficult time.”
Maureen Riedy, president of Visit Lake County, said the Gurnee organization’s website will be updated with Lake County event modifications.
“We are still in shock about the horrific tragedy in Highland Park and have paused our summer advertising campaign to allow time for mourning and healing,” she said.
One cancellation updated at https://www.visitlakecounty.org was the Lake County Forest Preserves’ July 5 Concert in the Plaza at Independence Grove Forest Preserve in Libertyville. Kaleidoscope Eyes, a Beatles tribute band scheduled to perform, will instead play on Aug. 23, according to a Lake County Forest Preserves release, which also invited people to spread the word.
The release also said, “Our hearts are with all those impacted by the tragic event that took place in Highland Park, and we recognize the importance of solidarity during this difficult time.”
Ryan Messner, a Long Grove insurance business owner and president of the Historic Downtown Long Grove Business Association, said, “It’s a very sad moment.”
The schedule of future Long Grove events, and how they are handled, is under review, he said.
Apple Fest in September is among Long Grove’s largest festivals. Vintage Days starting on Aug. 6 and Irish Days in early September generally draw fewer visitors as smaller Long Grove planned events, Messner said.
“We will be looking at increased security for all of our events,” he said. “Safety is most important.”