Avanti’s Dome likely to stay deflated until winter, banquet hall and outdoor fields still open

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PEKIN, Ill. (WMBD) — Avanti’s Dome is still down after severe storms tore through the area in June.

“You’re coming in, you don’t see the giant pillow/marshmallow in the middle of the field, it’s kinda weird,” said Brian Wonders, manager and sports director at Avanti’s Dome.

Wonders said they are still waiting on insurance quotes to get the dome back up, but have not stopped booking events.

“We’ve been working with, as far as contracts we had, and doing new contracts, so once it’s up again, we hit the ground running, there’s not dead time trying to reschedule stuff,” he said.

Luckily, summer is the dome’s slow season. Wonders said they hope to have the dome up by the winter, but some events won’t be able to proceed as planned.

PetFest is one of those affected events, hosted by TAiLS, a local nonprofit that helps pets get adopted.

“Its been our big fundraiser, so it’s hard, so hopefully if we are able to still have it, we’ll find another venue,” said Chad Kautz, vice president and bookstore manager at TAiLS (Tazewell Animal Improvement of Life Society).

He said the event is a major source of revenue for the volunteer-based nonprofit. He said PetFest usually draws 1,000 people, and they raise between $5,000 to $10,000.

Wonders said even though the dome is closed, the outdoor field and banquet rooms remain open.

“Kinda like spinning around different directions, I feel like at times. On some of the events, it’s having to let people know yes we are still open, these events are still happening,” Wonders said.

Multiple events are planned for the weekend. On Saturday, there is a Royal Princess Tea Party featuring etiquette lessons from Ariel and Belle.

Sunday, there is live music from local band Bogart Jones. There is also a softball tournament both days.

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