City scraps New Year’s Eve fireworks plans

EDMONTON — An annual and popular Edmonton tradition is being scrapped due to concerns over COVID-19: the 2020 New Year’s Eve fireworks display.

“We feel it’s necessary based on the current case counts,” said Adam Laughlin, interim city manager, of cancelling the Dec. 31 event.

The celebration had been scheduled to return to Churchill Square after being relocated to the legislature grounds for three years due to Valley Line LRT construction.

Scrapping the fireworks and related family programming will save taxpayers approximately $187,000 and $60,000, respectively, according to the city. The savings will total $247,000. 

As of Thursday, the Edmonton medical zone had more than 4,300 infections. That day, the province recorded an all-time daily high of 1,100 new cases. 

Mayor Don Iveson said Thursday the city was “winning the losing race” against COVID-19, and advocated for stricter measures from the provincial government, but not a total lockdown. 

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