For the second year in a row, Baltimore will not host its New Year’s Eve Spectacular celebration and fireworks show in the Inner Harbor, officials said Wednesday.
“After reviewing the logistics, costs, and other considerations given our recent Labor Day fireworks event, the City has decided not to proceed with fireworks this New Year,” said Ted Carter, the city’s deputy mayor for community and economic development, in a news release. “We are planning on returning to a more predictable, traditional schedule in 2022 as we continue to emerge from COVID-19 and resume normal event planning.”
When the city canceled the show last year in mid-December, COVID-19 cases in Maryland were on the rise, with an average of more than 2,700 reported each day. This year, widespread vaccination has eased restrictions statewide and calmed the case load. An average of fewer than 1,000 news cases are reported daily. But experts are still warning that the holidays could bring about a rise in cases, as could the spread of new variants like omicron.
In May, the city announced it planned to use about $51 million dollars in federal coronavirus relief money to help address a $142.7 million deficit in its 2021 budget. Spending on measures to address the coronavirus — and a reduction in revenue from sources like parking payments and hotel taxes — were to blame. The city was also expecting a reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help offset its losses.
In a news release, the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, the city’s event planner, voiced support for the “difficult decision” from the mayor’s office regarding the fireworks show.
The office advertised a number of other holiday events in the city, including the Inner Harbor Ice Rink set up by the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore, the partnerships’ Washington Monument lighting on Dec. 2 and the Christmas Village at West Shore Park.