BLOOMINGTON-NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — With Illinois set to be fully re-opened Friday, venues across central Illinois will be allowed to open at full capacity with no limitations.
For arenas and performing arts venues, sold-out, full shows can resume as normal. In Bloomington, the Grossinger Motors Arena and Bloomington Center for Performing Arts (BCPA) are now setting dates for music, theatre and other live performances.
James Mack, the cultural arts manager for the City of Bloomington, said it’s their job to entertain residents.
“We definitely see light at the end of the tunnel which is very exciting for us. It’s been over a year since we’ve actually had a live performance in our larger facilities so we are very excited,” Mack said.
Mack said right now dates are filled for later in the year at the BCPA and at the arena. Two shows are scheduled to tentatively take place in August and September.
“I think the community as a whole is very excited to get out, to stretch their arms and legs [and] to see a live show and experience it with other folks,” Mack said.
Over in Uptown Normal at the Children’s Discovery Museum (CDM), the reopening is happening in the middle of its slower season. Executive Director Beth Whisman said the museum is busier in the Fall and Spring.
“For us, the biggest change is not having to reserve time to play, [but] to [now] have that open-ended opportunity just to walk in during our regular business hours and play when it’s good for you and your family,” Whisman said.
Unlike other venues, all guests over the age of two, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to wear masks inside the facility. Whisman said they are following CDC and IDPH guidelines.
“If you think about children under the age of 12, they are not able to get vaccinated so 80-90% of our visitors are unvaccinated,” Whisman said.
Whisman said the CDM will resume its normal open hours on June 22 to accommodate for patrons who reserved play times before the governor’s reopening announcement.
As for the arena, it is still being occupied by the McLean County Health Department for COVID-19 vaccination appointments.