PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – One step closer to a full reopening, Illinois has entered the COVID-19 Bridge Phase.
Beginning Friday, May 14th, more restrictions have been eased for businesses and organizations across the state.
As COVID-19 created an emphasis on outdoor activities, the Peoria Park District has been there for the community with its parks and trails.
“We have been a really consistent, essential part of people’s handling of this pandemic,” said Emily Cahill, Executive Director of Peoria Park District.
Now that Illinois has reached the Bridge Phase, Cahill says the Park District is ready to welcome back some of its programming that has been absent.
“We are really excited to be able to launch some new programs, to be able to increase capacities in our locations,” she said.
On May 28th, the Peoria Playhouse Children’s Museum will also reopen to the public for the first time in 14 months, but under more careful restrictions and capacity limits.
“Especially in locations and in programs where we are serving children, we are going to be pretty conservative in that because those kids haven’t been vaccinated,” Cahill said.
The Peoria Civic Center is also looking forward to the opportunity to welcome up to 60% of its capacity.
“We’ve got an Indie Book Expo coming up in a couple of weeks, along with QuadCon, that’ll be here so they can have an increased capacity,” said Kelsey Martin, Marketing Manager at Peoria Civic Center.
She also says capacity limits for The Basketball Tournament will also increase.
As more shows are being booked and Governor J.B. Pritzker eyes a complete reopening on June 11, Martin says things are looking up for the Civic Center.
“I feel like people are just excited to get out there and have things to talk about and go do, so we’ve been really busy here and that’s a good thing for Central Illinois,” she said.
Cahill says the Park District is also planning to bring programming into individual neighborhoods, like a mobile beer garden. She explains that she hopes this allows people to socialize as more normalcy returns.