North Riverside Mayor Hubert Hermanek Jr. on Friday extended the local state of emergency declaration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic through at least May 16 and announced the cancellation of the village’s annual Fourth of July parade and celebration at Veterans Park.
Hermanek also announced that the 2020 season of North Riverside Little League was being canceled.
“It’s not going to open soon,” said Hermanek of the statewide stay-at-home order issued in March by Gov. J.B Pritzker and extended recently through the month of May. “And even if it does begin to open slowly, it’s not going to be enough to let baseball be open.”
Hermanek said he made the decision after talking to the local Little League president. The league’s opening day had been scheduled for May 9.
The national Little League organization announced on April 30 that it had canceled its 2020 World Series and regional tournaments in response to the pandemic, and recommended that leagues seek guidance at the state and local levels prior to beginning play.
“It’s so sad, but instead of leading people on, it’s in everyone’s best interest to cancel,” Hermanek said.
The annual Fourth of July parade, which prominently features the village’s Little League teams, is just the latest in a string of event and recreation program cancellations in North Riverside this spring.
Hermanek said that village officials are holding out hope residents can gather for the Village Block Party on Desplaines Avenue, which is scheduled for July 25. The event is a high-water mark of summer in North Riverside, with carnival games, food, live music and a fireworks display to cap the evening.
“No one likes these parties more than I do,” Hermanek said. “But it’s the truth of what we’ve got to do.”
The golf outing that serves as a fundraiser for the mayor’s scholarship program, scheduled for June 9, has been postponed until Aug. 10.