WHITING — A day after the organizers of the Pierogi Fest shelved their plans for this year, the popular festival's host city canceled its Fourth of July festivities because of the global coronavirus pandemic.
Whiting Mayor Joe Stahura said he and other city officials decided "with a heavy heart" to cancel the annual July 3rd Party in the Park and Fireworks Show at Whiting Lakefront Park and the city's 2020 July Fourth parade.
"These commemorative events take an enormous amount of effort to stage, including executing contracts for the performers and parade entries many months in advance," Stahura said. "With the uncertainty of how the coronavirus pandemic will be impacting the Region this July, canceling the events now was necessary."
The city's responsibility to ensure the safety of residents and visitors ultimately outweighed its longstanding July Fourth tradition, he said.
The 2020 events would have marked the 101st consecutive July Fourth parade in Whiting.
Stahura said he was looking forward to resuming July Fourth celebrations in 2021.
"While we look forward to attending these events each year, it's extremely important that we all do our part to stay safe by being smart," he said. "We will all get through this together."