SANDWICH – The Christmas lights show that was set to debut in November has been canceled.
Sandwich Ward 3 Alderman Shane Surratt said during the Monday, May 20, Committee of the Whole meeting that the city is not moving forward with the previously approved contract with Epic Light Show of Elburn. He said there still was too much to plan during the time they had left to settle the final details of the event, which would have been held at the Sandwich Fairgrounds.
“It’s in the best interest of the city to put the money and time elsewhere,” Surratt said.
The update comes after the City Council voted during their April 22 meeting to approve a resolution with Epic Light Shows to bring a show to the fairgrounds. The show would have run from Thanksgiving night through Jan. 2.
Surratt said the agreement fell through after former Sandwich Mayor Rick Olson resigned May 13.
“The check was never cut and the contract was never signed,” Surratt said.
Surratt said the contract with the Elburn company would have cost the city about $185,000. Olson had said during the April 22 meeting that 600 cars a night would have had to drive through the fairgrounds at $5 a car in order for the city to break even.
Surratt said other concerns were brought up by fairgrounds officials, as well, including whether the paths that were meant more for pedestrians would hold up with cars driving on them. With the city having other needs to address, including roads, sidewalks, its sanitary system and other infrastructure to be fixed, he said, there are better uses of the city’s money for now.
“I think it’s a better place to put it right at this time,” Surratt said.
Olson’s resignation came after charges were brought up against him for solicitation of a sex act with someone whom he thought was a sex worker. Ward 1 Alderman Rich Robinson was appointed as the city’s mayor Monday, May 20, to serve until the end of Olson’s term in April 2021.