The Jacksonville City Council meeting closed with a slough of cancellations for the year tonight. Mayor Andy Ezard announced that the Nichols Park Pool would not open for the summer season this year, and the 4th of July Fireworks Display would not be held.
Ezard says that the decision came after multiple discussions with city officials: “Through much information gathering and recommendations from Superintendent of Parks Adam Fletcher, Ward 2 Alderwoman Lori Large-Oldenettel, Morgan County Emergency Management Coordinator Phil McCarty, and Dale Bainter, Head of the Morgan County Health Department – we feel it’s appropriate at this time to announce that there will be no Nichols Park Pool open this year, and also, the 4th of July Fireworks will not happen this year. There may be potential – I’ve talked with the fireworks company – of maybe doing something on Labor Day weekend. At this time, we felt it was not a good time to hold those events. We didn’t feel like it would be fair to have high school and college students be responsible for little kids at the pool. We don’t like this. We don’t like doing this, but this is a summer that we feel everything needs to remain closed.”
Ward 1 Alderwoman Eren White-Williams said she also didn’t think it would be a good idea to have the city-wide Yard Sale this year: “This year I decided not to have the citywide yard sale. I did not feel it would be responsible to do so, especially with some of the counties around us with a lot of cases of COVID-19. Last year, people came from all over the state. I was so impressed and so happy with the turnout, but this year, I just don’t feel that it’s responsible to have it. I hope to God next year we can do this thing. I’ve had a ton of people asking me about it, and I just feel like I need to say something on record tonight for people to know.”
Jacksonville becomes the latest in a group of Central Illinois cities who have completely cancelled all of their 4th of July celebrations this year.