The village of River Forest Village Hall is seen on Friday, May 14, 2021, on Park Avenue. | ALEX ROGALS/Staff Photographer

River Forest residents will be able to hold block parties again this summer following action taken by elected officials at their virtual village board meeting May 10.

The village board unanimously approved a staff recommendation to again allow block parties, which were not allowed in 2020 due to restrictions put in place due to COVID-19 concerns.

Under the guidelines of the State of Illinois Bridge to Phase 5, which was entered May 14, participation will be capped at 100 people. If the state of Illinois reaches Phase 5, which could occur as soon as June 11, the participation limit would be lifted.

Block party participants would be expected to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations. 

“Since the board’s last discussion regarding this matter the Illinois Department of Public Health and Cook County Department of Public Health have continued to refine public health guidance for outdoor events relative to the COVID-19 case rate and vaccination rates,” said Lisa Scheiner, acting village administrator, in a memo to the village board. 

She said block party permits would be subject to the same conditions that existed prior to the pandemic as well as additional conditions relative to COVID-19 regarding such issues as social distancing guidelines, face mask requirements per CDC guidance and availability of hand sanitizer and other hygiene supplies. Permit applicants will be required to sign an acknowledgement that they will share the COVID-19 guidelines with attendees at the event.

Petting zoos, bounce houses and other similar inflatables will not be permitted and requests for village personnel such as police and fire department representatives will not be accommodated until Illinois reaches Phase 5.

Requests are required at least two weeks in advance of the event and forms are available on the village website at vrf.us.

“This seems very reasonable,” Cathy Adduci, village president, said.

Setup is allowed as early as 10 a.m. and streets must be cleared by 10 p.m. To allow passage by emergency vehicles, tables, chairs and other items placed on the street must be within six feet of the curb. Alcohol consumption is restricted to private property.

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