The annual fireworks show and Artscape have been scrapped in fear of producing "superspreader" events.
*Originally published on May 11, 2021:
Another year, another tradition canceled due to the pandemic. Inner Harbor's Fourth of July fireworks have been put on the back burner for 2021.
City officials made the call to cancel amid concerns of producing a superspreader event, which was also the case for the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts' recent decision to cancel Artscape. Both events draw large crowds, with Artscape boasting over 250,000 people each year, and officials believed hosting them would pose a health risk to the public.
BOPA CEO Donna Drew Sawyer announced the news in a Wednesday morning meeting with the Downtown Partnership, saying, "We have been in close communication with the city and unfortunately there will not be July Fourth fireworks."
She added, “We consulted with the mayor’s office. We consulted with the health commissioner, and the bottom line was, we can’t do it safely.”
It's the second year in a row the Fourth of July fireworks have been canceled.
The non-profit intends to resume citywide activities next summer in 2022, according to a statement.
While it is sad news for Baltimoreans, there is in fact a silver lining. There's a likelihood that fireworks displays will resume at the harbor for the New Year's Eve celebration later this year. While nothing is on the books, Sawyer says she wants to "figure out a way to bring that excitement back" for the annual tradition. Fingers crossed this is the case! In the meantime, residents can look forward to the month-long art event Free Fall Baltimore happening this October.
Find out more about it here.
Are you bummed Inner Harbor's Fourth of July show is canceled? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!