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Chicago’s Playpen Closed This Summer, Lightfoot Says

"Sorry, folks, the Playpen is not gonna be open this summer," Lightfoot said of the boating enclave near Ohio Street Beach.

Boats congregate at the Playpen near Streeterville in June 2018.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — Chicago’s Playpen, an enclave where boaters party on Lake Michigan near Ohio Street Beach, is closed for the summer.

The city’s lakefront and beaches will reopen this summer, “hopefully later in June,” and people will be able to boat — though congregating between boats won’t be allowed, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Friday.

“Sorry, folks, the Playpen is not gonna be open this summer,” Lightfoot said.

Boating has been a sore spot for many: The state has so far allowed people to use boats for fishing, so long as there are only two people to a boat. And the state’s reopening plan allows for up to 10 people in a boat when Phase 3 begins May 29.

But Lightfoot hasn’t allowed boating in Chicago so far and the city shut down the lakefront due to overcrowding in late March.

Although much of Illinois will enter the next phase of the coronavirus battle late next week, Lightfoot on Friday said Chicago won’t be ready to enter Phase 3 until sometime in early June.

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