Naval Station Great Lakes near North Chicago is calling off its popular Fourth of July celebration this year due to a large number of other events scheduled to take place at the base the same week.
Commanding officer Capt. Ray Leung announced the cancellation on Tuesday, stating that the other events – including a recruit graduation and a Navy Reserve Officers' Training Corps graduation – made it difficult to plan the event while maintaining the same high level of safety festival-goers expect.
Rather than hosting a downgraded event, Leung decided to cancel it for this year.
"We regret having to cancel this celebration. We know that it is a centerpiece of many area residents' summer," Leung said in the announcement. "Although we don't know for certain, we hope that we can bring the event back bigger and better in 2021."
The free festival traditionally has drawn thousands of visitors and naval station sailors and recruits to the base's Ross Field to celebrate the country's independence. Highlighted by a huge fireworks show, the fest also has featured live music, children's activities, midway games and plenty of food and beverages.
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