Ravinia reopens to kick off July 4 holiday weekend

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (WLS) -- The July 4 holiday weekend is here, and it's started out with lots of outdoor fun and music.

Thursday night, Ravinia began a weekend of "thank yous," to donors, supporters and the people who helped them navigate through the pandemic as they began hosting concerts again.

"We missed it so much last year," said Myrna Copin, concertgoer. "I've been coming here for about 50 years."

Pianist Garrick Ohllson took the stage to start the season.

"Music is of those few things that can inspire all of us. And what I love about it is music brings us all together," said Jeff Haydon, CEO and president of Ravinia.

Ravinia will scale back attendance this season, including for two more special events this weekend. Saturday will host a nod to frontline workers.

"These are all people who couldn't Zoom into work. They were bagging your groceries at Sunset Foods. They were delivering your mail. They were out there in public works. They were in the hospitals and we are so thrilled to thank them," Haydon said.

This weekend has fun for kids as well as adults. In Arlington Heights, Frontier Days started Thursday. The carnival is scaled back, but the kids seem to be OK with that. And concerts in Millennium Park restart on Friday, for the first time since September 2019.

The summer nights we all missed are beginning to feel like they should.
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