On July 4 during the Lyons fireworks display, dozens of families were ejected and ticketed at the Lyons Cook County Forest Preserve.
My wife and I live in Brookfield with two children. Last year we went to the forest preserve site at First and Ogden avenues to enjoy the Lyons fireworks there along with several other families. This year we expected to be able to do the same, and we were there at about 8:30 for the 9 p.m. show. However, right at 9 o’clock this year a forest preserve policeman’s bullhorn started blaring that we were being ejected and would be ticketed if we did not leave immediately.
Nobody was making trouble, and the officer in question (Officer Gotch) stated that the only reason he was ejecting people was that the forest preserves close at dusk. While this is an indisputable fact, it does not excuse the extremely poor manner in which this was handled. Many families who parked at the forest preserve were unaware of the rules and parked there to walk into Lyons, so they never heard the warning and were undoubtedly ticketed. The families present were ejected right as the fireworks began, and were not given any time to enjoy the show.
The officer could have waited until the end of the show, or could have placed barriers and notifications at the preserve’s entrance. Many families were very disappointed in the Forest Preserve’s actions this evening.