Chicago rolls out incentives to encourage vaccinations ahead of summer season

Chicago's Buckingham Fountain 'flipped' back on to kick-off 'Switch on Summer'

ByDiane Pathieu, Evelyn Holmes, and Alexis McAdams, ABC 7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Sunday, May 23, 2021
Chicago rolls out incentives to encourage vaccinations
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For those who have been fully vaccinated, life in Chicago is starting to seem like it's getting back to normal.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- For those who have been fully vaccinated, life in Chicago is starting to seem like it's getting back to normal.

"Even if it slightly different than traditional - it is great to be out," said Joran Coreys, who is vaccinated.

Public health officials are rolling out incentives to reach people who have not yet been immunized, like the "Protect Chicago" music series - monthly concerts for vaccinated people only.

"Host all summer to make a safe environment for people who are vaccinated for them to come and hang out and party," said Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

That trend also happening at bars and restaurants across the city.

Over in Lakeview, the Hydrate Night Club is only admitting fully vaccinated people.

"We are back to operating as we were pre-COVID," said Mark Liberson with Hydrate Nightclub.

The dance floor is back open too!

"I consider being in the room one of the safest places you can be because everyone here has been vaccinated," Liberson added.

The club said they have had to turn several people away who did not have proof of vaccination.

"You have to have proof of vaccination and an ID that matches," Liberson said.

Another sign Chicago is back is the soothing sound now that Buckingham Fountain is once again flowing after a pandemic hiatus.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and other city officials officially flipped the switch on at 2 p.m as part of the Open Chicago initiative.

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The nearly 94-year-old fountain has not been active since 2019.

WATCH: Chicago's Buckingham Fountain back on after year hiatus

Chicago's Buckingham Fountain is flowing once again after a one-year hiatus.

It was not turned on last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

RELATED: Buckingham Fountain pumps up for summer

Chicago's iconic Buckingham Fountain is gearing up for summer, with a test of its jets today.

Dominique Lalrinzuala of Orland Park was selected from a ComEd online sweepstakes to turn the fountain on.

This was the seventh year that ComEd partners with the Park District for "Switch on Summer."

The fountain is one of the largest in the world and is located off of Columbus Drive in Grant Park.

It typically runs from 8 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. from May through Mid-October, according to the Park District's website

While in operation, the fountain shoots out water up to 150 feet into the air and is on display for 20 minutes every hour, the website said.