Avanti’s dome is expected to remain deflated through winter, with the banquet hall and outdoor fields still open.
BEIJING, Ill. (WMBD) – Avanti’s Dome is still down after severe storms ravaged the area in June.
“You walk in, you don’t see the giant pillow / marshmallow in the middle of the field, it’s a little weird,” said Brian Wonders, director and athletic director of Avanti’s Dome.
Wonders said they’re still waiting for insurance quotes to put the dome back in place, but haven’t stopped booking events.
“We worked with it, in that we had contracts, and signed new contracts, so once it’s back in place we started running, there is no downtime to trying to reschedule things, ”he said.
Fortunately, summer is the dome’s off-season. Wonders said they hope to have the dome in place by winter, but some events may not go as planned.
One such relevant event is PetFest, organized by TAiLS, a local non-profit organization that helps pets get adopted.
“It was our big fundraiser so it’s tough so hopefully if we can still have it we’ll find another venue,” said Chad Kautz, vice president and bookstore manager at TAiLS (Tazewell Animal Improvement of Life Society).
He said the event is a major source of income for the nonprofit. He said PetFest typically attracts 1,000 people and raises between $ 5,000 and $ 10,000.
Wonders says that even though the dome is closed, the outdoor grounds and banquet halls remain open.
“Kind of like turning in different directions, I feel like sometimes. On some events you have to let people know that yes, we’re still open, those events still happen, ”Wonders said.
Several events are planned for the weekend. On Saturdays there is a Royal Princess Tea Party with etiquette lessons from Ariel and Belle.
On Sundays there is live music from local band Bogart Jones. There is also a softball tournament on both days.