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Chicago, or at least one of its suburbs, is opening up with scheduled concerts in the summer. Orland Park has sparked both acclaim and criticism in its decision to continue with the town’s usual summer festivities, which includes a lineup of concerts and the usual farmer’s markets. While other parts of Chicago remain wary of COVID-19, Orland Park’s first steps towards normalcy can usher in greater demands for less restrictive mandates that will eventually open up the state.
The scheduled concerts in July and August pushed through after residents clamored for a semblance of normalcy. The advent of vaccines, as well as the onset of summer, dampens the fear of infections, and residents boxed in after more than a year of lockdown are eager to experience normal life once again.
Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau received acclaims from residents and staunch criticism from social media. The mayor pointed out that the concerts are part of the town’s planned phased reopening of the local economy. The series of concerts will create a multitude of jobs and provide economic stimuli for the opening suburb.While other parts of Chicago remain wary of COVID-19, Orland Park's first steps towards normalcy can usher in greater demands for less restrictive mandates that will eventually open up the state.Click To Tweet
Although the White House announced an Opening Up America Again plan, other mayors in Chicago are waiting for official guidelines from state health officials and the governor before initiating events that involve large crowds. Tickets for the scheduled concerts have been available to residents since May 1. Non-residents can avail of tickets on May 22.
A Culture of Music
Orland Park has a rich musical tradition. Concerts, either classical, pop, or rock, are regular events that happen throughout the year. Residents boast a high affinity to music, with most schools having a small orchestra or two. It is home to many piano teachers and violin instructors; some are considered the finest in the state.
The suburb has welcomed all forms of music, as it maintains diverse selections during its usual summer festivities. The lockdowns of 2020 put a dent in Orland Park’s tradition. With the vaccine rollouts, residents are eager to get back to their normal lives, and their leaders are willing to put up a strong front to answer their calls.
Thriving Farmer’s Markets
Concerts are not the sole attractions of OrlandPark’s summer festivities. Minor concerts serve as a backdrop to the town’s farmer’s markets, where residents offer anything from simple baked goods to complex woodcraft pieces. The markets are scheduled to open on July 4, in time with the town’s celebration of Independence Day. Food and drinks have been allowed to be sold, and residents aching for a taste of craft beer can delight in new flavors once more. The markets are open to outsiders, as were the previous ones.
However, certain guidelines will be imposed to ensure the safety of both participants and visitors. The markets are set to open in Crescent Park, although individual communities can open their own in the future.
A July 4 Preview
Mayor Keith Pekau ensures residents that July 4 festivities will push through. Fireworks displays will be set up in Centennial Park, and residents can view the light show on-site or in their homes. There will be a preview of the summer concerts care of Mellencougar, a John Mellencamp tribute band that has earned a bit of following in the suburbs.
If COVID-19 behaves similarly to other coronaviruses, it should have a downturn during the summer. Increased UV radiation will shorten the amount of time it can survive on exposed surfaces, and an uptick in physical activity can fortify the immunity of residents.
In 2020, coronavirus cases took a dip during summer, especially among loosely-packed rural communities and suburbs. Exposure to sunlight also promotes the body’s production of vitamin D. Aside from strengthening bones, vitamin D has also been linked to stronger immunity and reduced gravity of symptoms while infected with COVID-19.
Vaccine rollouts should provide another layer of safety, and the Biden administration is softening its stance compared to its past declaration of opening only after winter. Other cities and towns in Chicago are hesitant to return to normalcy, fearing a rise in infections. Orland Park’s festivities can serve as a benchmark on the safety of outdoor gatherings, guiding future decisions on whether to open up or remain in lockdown.
The music won’t be stopped in Orland Park. Years of culture and tradition clash with fears of infection, finally proving that residents are done with the lockdowns and eager to get back to their normal lives. The summer festivities can prove to be a great disaster. However, several studies have shown a downturn in infections in summer, and vaccines should minimize infections or mitigate the effects of the virus.