July 3 fireworks along Milwaukee's lakefront canceled over COVID-19

NOW: July 3 fireworks along Milwaukee’s lakefront canceled over COVID-19

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The July 3 Lakefront Fireworks presented by American Family Insurance, T&M Partners, Milwaukee Brewers and Milwaukee County Parks have been cancelled for 2020 because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it was announced today. The event will not be rescheduled this year.

In lieu of the fireworks celebration, American Family Insurance will make a donation to the newly established Milwaukee Parks Foundation

“We’re obviously disappointed for the many Wisconsin residents who have made the lakefront fireworks an Independence Day tradition,” said Judd Schemmel, American Family Insurance associate vice president of community investment and partnerships. “However, the continuing uncertainty of the pandemic and concern for the health and safety of participants made it the right decision. American Family looks forward to continuing our support of this iconic community event in 2021.”

The lakefront fireworks were nearly cancelled in 2019, when American Family Insurance, T&M Partners and the Brewers stepped up to fund the celebration. The partners continue to discuss plans for the 2021 event and beyond.

Many other Milwaukee events that occur in June and July have been either cancelled or postponed to late summer or early fall.

“We know this was a difficult decision for American Family Insurance and their partners, and we agree it’s the correct decision,” said Milwaukee County Parks Executive Director Guy Smith. “We look forward to seeing the display return even bigger and better in 2021.”

"This partnership has been a home run for Milwaukee. No one could have predicted the situation we’re in with COVID-19,” said County Executive Chris Abele. “To have American Family and others step up to the plate to show their commitment to Milwaukee is great. These short-term sacrifices are for the long-term safety of the community. We'll come out of this better and stronger."

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