Community reels following Highland Park shooting

With COVID-19 putting a pause on many social gatherings over the past two years, this summer’s annual Fourth of July parade down Central Street was highly anticipated by many Evanstonians. 

However, this anticipation faded quickly when news of a shooting at the Highland Park parade reached Evanston. The city quickly decided to cancel Evanston’s parade and fireworks display since it was unknown if the shooter was still a threat to other North Shore towns. Later, the beaches were also closed for the day. 

With cancellations in place, Evanstonians were unsure of what to do, and how they would continue their fourth of July celebration. Many were scared and didn’t want to put themselves or their families and friends at risk, but still searched for ways to safely spend time with their family and communities. 

Junior Monroe Stroth, shares her experience on the fourth. 

I was working at the beach when we found out about the shooting in Highland Park. We didn’t know very many details, so a shooting happening in Evanston was definitely possible in our minds,” Stroth says. “We closed the beaches a few hours after the incident, and [lakefront manager] Tim Carter made us leave the beach office as fast as possible.” 

Despite the disappointment that the fourth of July was cancelled for the third year in a row, Evanston residents understand why it needed to happen and are grateful that Evanston remained safe. 

“I think it was good that the parade and fireworks were cancelled because all the violence around the fourth is a concern that shouldn’t be taken lightly,” Stroth shares.

Parade closings are surely the least of Evanston residents’ worries in comparison to the devastation experienced by the Highland Park community. Our hearts extend to all of the people affected by this terrible event.