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Civil War Days event in Lake County canceled over security concerns

Civil War Days, an annual reenactment event hosted by the Lake County Forest Preserve, has been canceled after forest preserve officials cited "security concerns," according to a news release from the Lake County Sheriff's Office.

“During the past week, there have been many responses to information stemming from a June 11 Forest Preserves board meeting where Civil War Days was discussed. Some of these responses were very concerning,” John Tannahill, Director of Public Safety for the Lake County Forest Preserves, said in a statement. “We consulted with local and state law enforcement agencies that specialize in events like this about the responses. Based on their advice, and in an effort to keep everyone safe, canceling is the best decision.”

On Friday, the sheriff's office advised the forest preserve that an official request would be needed to conduct an evaluation of the threats or safety concerns leading to the cancellation, according to the release. Because the Lake County Sheriff's Office never received such a request or any supporting documentation to conduct an evaluation, it was did not offer any recommendations to the forest preserve.

However, on Tuesday, Lake County Commissioner Dick Barr requested that the sheriff's office conduct a criminal investigation into the threats to see if any were criminal in nature, according to the sheriff's office.

In response, the sheriff's office contacted the Lake County Forest Preserve requesting all documentation and information surrounding any threats made against Civil War Days. Administrators also requested the forest preserve's administration and public safety staff meet with the sheriff's criminal investigation division, the release said.

The event was slated for July 13 to 14, and had been held at Lakewood Forest Preserve in Wauconda for the past 27 years, according to the Forest Preserves' statement.

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