Navy Pier

Navy Pier Won't Host Annual New Year's Eve Fireworks Show, Citing Coronavirus Concerns

The pier is set to close its doors Sept. 8 and "anticipates reopening" in spring of 2021

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Navy Pier's iconic fireworks won't be filling the Chicago sky this year.

Navy Pier says the facility will not host the annual New Year's Eve firework show this December due to its closure and citywide COVID-19 restrictions, a spokesperson said.

In previous years, Navy Pier has asked viewers to arrive early as the display typically draws "large crowds" on Dec. 31.

Navy Pier closed after Labor Day as the iconic Chicago attraction faced restrictions and budget shortfalls during the coronavirus pandemic.

The pier said they "anticipate reopening" in spring of 2021. The closure aims to "limit the financial burden and impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic on the organization."

“While this was a very difficult decision for the organization, it was a necessary one to proactively ensure the long-term success of one of Chicago’s most treasured and important civic institutions and the communities it serves,” Navy Pier President and CEO Marilynn Gardner said in a statement.

In August, officials said Navy Pier was exploring its options, including the potential for closure as the attraction faces a $20 million deficit in its budget due to the coronavirus pandemic, a spokesperson said.

In a statement, Navy Pier said the loss of earnings "has been devastating to the organization's budget," citing the ongoing closure of the pier's iconic Centennial Wheel and other attractions as well as decreased parking revenue, rent relief for tenants and the cancellations of all private events.

The pier has since implemented "financial adjustments" to help limit costs, including the firing of at least 20% of its employees. The pier's president and CEO has taken a 44% pay reduction and all executive leadership saw reductions of 33%, according to the statement. Several full-time administrative staff members were also furloughed, renovations postponed, hiring suspended and budgets cut.

"Our hope is that with support from Chicagoans and the donor community, we will emerge from this crisis restored, renewed and stronger," the statement read. "We are on the path to a new era for Navy Pier, and we are working towards transforming this distressing situation into one of resilience and new opportunities as we continue to bring to life the vision for the Pier."

NBC 5 will be ringing in the New Year in Chicago with some big names and special surprises.

The station will air its "New Year’s Eve Chicago" show, hosted by Matthew Rodrigues and Cortney Hall of "Chicago Today," beginning at 11:30 p.m. on Dec. 31.

The celebration takes place with the city as its backdrop, recorded from the LondonHouse Chicago rooftop.

The show also looks at how Chicagoans stepped up for each other and for their communities throughout the past year.

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