City announces Juneteenth and gay pride community festivals while canceling the annual Fourth of July parade

The city of Evanston, Illinois has announced it will be holding a community Juneteenth and gay pride parade but is canceling the annual Fourth of July parade and fireworks.

The city is hosting a Juneteenth celebration and parade on June 19 and a Pride parade and day of events on June 26. Following the Pride parade, they will be holding a “Pride Community Picnic” in the park, according to the city’s website.

“Join us Saturday afternoon following the car parade at Ingraham Park for a community picnic. We will provide bottled water (while supplies last) and entertainment. You bring your own blanket and munchies to enjoy,” the event listing on the City’s website state

The “Juneteenth” event will begin “at 11 a.m. with the annual Juneteenth parade with Grand Marshals Cheryl Judice and Jason Powell. The parade begins in the parking lot at Robert Crown Community Center and ends at the Ingraham Park. After the parade, enjoy musical entertainment, art, food and celebration at Ingraham Park until 4 p.m.!”

While safety concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19 don’t seem to be mentioned in either of the two listings, the city does however mention their concern for public health with regards to the annual Fourth of July celebrations, forcing it to be a “virtual” event, with no in person festivities.

“Based on concern for public health due to the unpredictability of the pandemic’s impact, vaccination rates, and in cooperation with our local authorities, the Trustees of the Evanston Fourth of July Association voted to cancel the Fun Run, Parade, Palatine Concert Band performance and Lakefront Fireworks show on July 4, 2021,” the website reads.

Reactions from Twitter users were mixed, with one user saying, “Sadly, I expect this from Evanston.”

“Celebrate Juneteenth AND the 4th of July. If the city won’t have a 4th of July parade, have one in protest,” another user wrote.

“It’s called subversion,” someone else replied.

The City of Evanston made headlines earlier this year after they became the first city in the U.S. to announce they will be paying repartitions to citizens of color.