Chicago Suburb That Approved Reparations Holds Pride, Juneteenth Celebrations But Canceled July 4 Parade

(USA Features) The Chicago suburb of Evanston, Ill., is holding gay pride and Juneteenth celebrations this year but has canceled its annual July 4 parade, reports noted on Saturday.

The city commemorated the abolition of slavery with a parade and community events on Juneteenth — June 19, the day the abolition of slavery in the U.S. is officially observed and celebrated. Also, there will be a Gay Pride parade next Saturday, June 26.

But the city previously canceled its July 4 live celebration, claiming ongoing concerns about COVID-19, and thus far, officials have not indicated they will hold similar celebrations to honor the country’s birthday, The Blaze reported.

“My home town of Evanston, Illinois is having a Juneteenth Parade and a Gay Pride Parade, but is cancelling [sic] the 4th of July Parade & Fireworks,” Real Clear Politics co-founder and president Tom Bevan noted on Twitter.

“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 of the Evanston Fourth of July Association voted to cancel the Fun Run, Parade, Palatine Concert Band performance and Lakefront Fireworks show on July 4, 2021,” the organization noted in March.

“However, we are committed and already working toward an Independence Day celebration that will be safe, creative and build community,” the group added.

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“Monthly podcasts began in late 2019 titled ‘Celebrating a Century –The 4th of July in Evanston’ which will continue and can be heard on your personal devices,” the announcement continued.

“If guidelines allow, the Association plans to conduct the traditional morning games and activities in the parks and schools. The 2020 Virtual 4th of July celebration with a parade, concert and fireworks is ready to be replayed,” it noted.

“The Celebration Team is considering mini concerts, roving entertainment, neighborhood art and decoration projects to provide the community with a day to remember.”

Evanston made headlines earlier this year when city officials announced a first-in-the-nation reparations program for blacks.

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The city said it would pay out some $10 million over the next decade.

The city will officially begin distributing funds in the form of $25,000 payments “to a small number of eligible Black residents for home down payments, mortgage payments or home repairs,” WLS-TV reported.