Chicago will ring in 2022 with a 1.5-mile-long fireworks display, the largest in the city’s history, officials announced Monday.
The fireworks will launch at midnight New Year’s Eve, synchronized across eight sites along downtown’s Riverwalk and Navy Pier. The display will be simulcast on WGN-TV.
“I’m thrilled that we are able to welcome back our New Year’s Eve fireworks and hope to continue this tradition into the future,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot in a statement.
Critics questioned the wisdom of holding a large-scale event while cases of COVID-19 are surging; others were concerned about the cost of the display as well as the potential for violence.
City officials addressed the first issue by stressing that the display — supported by hotels and restaurants — can be viewed outdoors or from home to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Venues such as Navy Pier are quickly updating admission policies for partygoers, requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test, and implementing temperature checks upon entrance, among other measures.
A safety plan for New Year’s Eve will be released Wednesday, officials said.