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Vancouver's New Year's Eve fireworks officially cancelled due to COVID-19

This is the second year in a row the event has been put on hold, but this year it's for very different reasons.
A New Year's Eve fireworks show in Vancouver's Coal Harbour. Photo via New Year's Eve Vancouver/Facebook

It's official: Vancouver's popular annual New Year's Eve celebration with fireworks has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Vancouver New Year’s Eve Celebration Society (VNYECS) announced Thursday it is taking the Dec. 31, 2020 event off the calendar.

This is the second year in a row Concord is not putting on its big fireworks display and event; in 2019, organizers announced they were putting the celebration on hiatus in preparation for a venue move from Coal Harbour to False Creek.

Previously, the Coal Harbour fireworks drew upwards of 100,000 people in attendance - obviously not something that will be okay in light of COVID-19 restrictions in B.C.

“With the safety of our volunteers, vendors, and guests in mind, we knew that we could not go ahead with this year’s pre-planned fireworks spectacular,” said VNYECS Board Chair Dani Pretto in the announcement. 

“The annual fireworks are an exciting and well-loved tradition, and as such, they would undoubtedly have drawn very large crowds to all optimal viewing sites. Understanding that 2020 is a very different and challenging year, especially where festivals and events are concerned, we made the difficult decision to postpone this year’s fireworks show," added Pretto.

Organizers remain optimistic that on Dec. 31, 2021 tens of thousands of people will be able to be together along False Creek to welcome in 2022 with an exciting fireworks display. 

They have already started envisioning new and innovative activations that can complement 2021’s fireworks display.

“More than ever, in these uncertain times, our communities look forward to celebrations that mark a sense of new beginnings. Concord’s New Year’s Eve Celebration is a treasured event in our city, but the health and safety of our communities are of the utmost importance," said Royce Chwin, President and CEO of Tourism Vancouver.

"As an important part of Vancouver's fulsome events calendar, we look forward to safely welcoming the celebration back in 2021. We know it will be well worth the wait.”

Other holiday events in Vancouver cancelled in 2020

Previously, organizers of the Vancouver Christmas Market opted to put this year's event on ice, as did the Vancouver Santa Claus Parade. In neighbouring Burnaby, officials pulled the plug on the free Heritage Christmas at Burnaby Village Museum due to restrictions on public gatherings in the province.