CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The City of Chicago announced Friday the expansion of operations on the Chicago Riverwalk.
Beginning Friday, the Chicago Riverwalk will resume its standard operating hours between 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. for both recreation and business operations.
Additionally, the city will no longer limit the hours of vendor operations, allowing them to begin operating in the morning and close at 11 p.m.
According to the Mayor's Office, this move comes after the city has been closely monitoring the amount of people using the Riverwalk each day and its current projections for use throughout the summer and determined that it was feasible for these simultaneous operations.
All persons using the Riverwalk and its facilities will still be required to wear face coverings, in accordance with public health guidance.
The city also announced it will bring back vendors from the Riverwalk’s Community Marketplace, as part of this phased reopening. Three vendors – Batter & Berries, Chiya Chai Café, and Shop Small Chicago – will begin operations in the Marketplace throughout the next week, with additional businesses to gradually reopen throughout the summer.
The Community Marketplace debuted in 2019 between Michigan and Wabash on the Main Branch of the Chicago River with the mission of bringing vendors who represent the cultural diversity of Chicago's neighborhoods.
Concessions Program Vendors began opening in phases on June 13, and vendors will continue to be available by reservation in order to maintain social distancing and manage crowds. Reservations also give the city the ability to trace cases of COVID-19 and contact any patrons that may have been impacted.
Businesses can be reached directly to make a reservation, which will be facilitated on a first-come, first-serve basis. Access will be available upon request for walk-ups, however contact information will still be collected. Beyond requiring reservations, the concession program vendors will arrange their seating areas in a manner that promotes social distancing.