Duffy: New event offers a bridge to spring

During the past 14 months, we’ve missed many important life events during the pandemic in order to be safe. We’re now in a position to enter the bridge phase to get one step closer to a more normal life. What normal looks like will be different and we need to be sure to do things the right way to prevent moving backwards and putting us all in a position that no one wants to be in.

Since we’ve all been limited on our regular activities, it will be great to once more familiarize ourselves with the local businesses and organizations in our community. With the state of Illinois entering the bridge phase on Friday, it’s time to enjoy things that we used to take for granted while still doing it safely.

This Friday, May 14, the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce is launching a new event that’s multiple events in one and it’s free to attend. The Local Showcase and Spring Fest presented by Facebook will be held at the DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport.

The Local Showcase will offer a drive-thru event starting at 4 p.m. and closing to cars at 6:30 p.m. Learn what your community has to offer by connecting with more than 60 local businesses and organizations from the safety of your car to collect information, swag and giveaways. After driving through the showcase, enjoy the Cruise By Car Show to drive by cool cars, motorcycles, planes and utility vehicles thanks to the Lions of Illinois Foundation, City of DeKalb Police and Fire departments and planes of tenants at the DeKalb airport.

Spring Fest immediately follows the Local Showcase and will be a walkable, outdoor festival that is free to attend. Food will be available to purchase from Big D’s Hotdogs and Burritoville from 5 to 9 p.m. Live music will start at 6 p.m. from Rich Sawyer with drinks available for purchase from Fatty’s Pub & Grille. We are excited to welcome Mr. Myers Band as our main act starting at 7:30 p.m. While seating won’t be provided, feel free to bring your own chairs!

This entire event is outdoors in an area that provides lots of space for the safety of all involved. Meeting with local businesses, seeing a car show, enjoying food trucks and listening to live music are all things that we’ve missed over the past year plus. Did I mention that this entire event is free to attend? Spring is in the air and it will never feel more like it than this Friday at the DeKalb Airport and we look forward to seeing you there.

Part-Time, Summer Job Fair

The DeKalb Chamber is partnering with the DeKalb Park District to offer a chance for residents to learn about a range of open positions in the area. From 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 25, at Haish Gymnasium, attendees can walk through to find out more about part-time and summer jobs while also registering for a chance to win $25 gift cards from participating businesses. For information, visit DeKalb.org.

• Matt Duffy is executive director of the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce.