Chicago police told to plan for outdoor summer events in city, source says

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Chicago police source confirmed to ABC7 Eyewitness News that the department has been told to plan for outdoor summer events as they normally do.

The source said the conversation came up during an accountability meeting the Chicago Police Department had with Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Tuesday.

Last year, with the first peak of the COVID-19 pandemic still weeks away, Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events announced that all major spring and summer festivals had been canceled. More cancelations came over summer, fall and winter, all the way up to the cancelation of the South Side and downtown St. Patrick's Day parade this year.

The city has not officially confirmed that summer outdoor events will go on as they have in years past, but with COVID vaccinations ramping up across the city and state, the development does signal the possibility of further relaxing COVID-19 restrictions to allow for large crowds to gather for summer staples such as sporting events, concerts and festivals.

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No specific dates are being offered at this time. A spokesperson from Mayor Lightfoot's office responded to ABC7's request for comment, saying, "City of Chicago departments are considering options for summer events that follow all city and state health guidelines."
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