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Features

Bicentennial Park in Joliet: what's currently offered, what's postponed

Staff at the Billie Limacher Bicentenntial Park in Joliet spent part of last week cleaning up storm debris.The park is currently open for  walks, small picnics, fishing and Pokemon Go. Wear a face mask if you cannot maintain 6-feet of social distancing.
Staff at the Billie Limacher Bicentenntial Park in Joliet spent part of last week cleaning up storm debris.The park is currently open for walks, small picnics, fishing and Pokemon Go. Wear a face mask if you cannot maintain 6-feet of social distancing.

Something old, something new, a few delays, no one’s blue. That’s a current summary of the Billie Limacher Bicentennial Park and Theatre in Joliet.

Something old:

“Summertime On-Stage Drama & Tech Camp” is still scheduled to begin on June 22 but outside and with reduced participants and plenty of social distancing, Lori Carmine, park manager, said.

“The park is open as far as people wanting to walk through to play Pokemon GO,” Carmine said. “We’ve had some fishing. They can do that. It’s just events right now that’s not allowed...there’s plenty of people down there walking and plenty of people suing the stairs for their stepping [aerobics].”

Something new:

The park started a “Billie Limacher Bicentennial Park” YouTube channel about three weeks ago to showcase local talent, Carmine said.

Although the park has not done livestreamed events, it’s considering a livestream series of monologues called “Spoon River Anthology,” she said.

The Joliet Drama Guild was to host a production of “Shrek” and will now substitute “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” because only a small cast is needed, Carmine said.

The plan is to perform the show
outside but the licensing company
has given a livestreaming option, too, Carmine said.

The park’s indoor theater has also received a new look.

“We took the stage out and painted the concrete floor,” Carmine said. “That held [in the storm], no leaks in the pit. Apparently it all came under the doors; there was water in the lobby.”

The seats in the theater are new, too.

“They’re more like movie seats,” Carmine said. “The red ones were upholstered. They were the original seats and I knew they were not the most comfortable. These are lot more comfortable and they have cup holders.”

A few delays:

The June portion of “Concerts of the Hill,” the park’s decades-long summer tradition of free outdoor musical performances, is canceled but the park hopes to pick up the weekly event in July and run it through August, Carmine said.

The Joliet Drama Guild has postponed its production of “Something Rotten” until next year.

No one’s blue:

The park was “hit hard” with recent storms but it’s not hurting financially from the shutdown and everyone is looking forward to returning to a full calendar of events as soon as it’s safe, Carmine said.

“We lost a lot of trees, had a lot of branches and debris, but that’s all cleaned up now,” Carmine said. “Everyone practiced social distancing.”

For information, call 815-724-3761 or visit bicentennialpark.org.

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