Grand Rapids cancels fireworks show

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Riverbank Events and Media announced it canceled all planned activities surrounding the Grand Rapids fireworks show for 2020. Photo by iStock

Riverbank Events and Media announced it canceled all planned activities surrounding the Grand Rapids fireworks show due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The organization said complying with the CDC’s and other government agencies’ recommendations for social distancing has proven difficult to coordinate the festivities that take place at Ah-Nab-Awen Park.

Russ Hines, CEO of Riverbank Events and Media, also said the costs to add the PPE equipment, police and fire personnel that would be needed makes it financially challenging for all parties.

“The event organizer and our special events office have made several attempts to ‘reimagine’ how the event may take place but do not feel there is a way to effectively maintain the annual fireworks display without creating adverse potential health impacts and/or running afoul of mass gathering restrictions implemented by state and county health authorities,” said Mark Washington, city manager. “We have consulted with Dr. Adam London, who agrees that any mass gathering will be problematic until an effective vaccine is in place for this coronavirus.”

Washington said many cities, like Detroit, Grand Haven, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grandville, have canceled their fireworks show. Lansing postponed its event until September.

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