Chicago, IL

Chicago is planning its 'largest fireworks display' ever this New Year's Eve

Jennifer Geer

However, some critics question if this is the best year for such an event

At midnight on December 31st, Chicago is going to put on the ultimate fireworks show. It will be a 1.5-mile long extravaganza that extends from Wolf Point on the Chicago River to the lake.

The city is working with Arena Partners, Choose Chicago, and Navy Pier to bring Chicagoans the "largest fireworks display the City's ever had," according to a statement.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot took to Twitter to announce, "I’m thrilled to welcome back our New Year’s Eve fireworks. This will be Chicago’s largest fireworks display—ever. The show can be viewed outdoors where the spread of COVID-19 is less likely. Mask up, socially distance or watch from home via @WGNTV. Here's to a happy new year."

Choreographed to music

This year's show will be set to a soundtrack and choreographed across eight launch sites along the Chicago River, Navy Pier, and lakefront.

The launch sites, seen in this map, include the following:

  • Orleans Street Bridge
  • LaSalle Street Bridge
  • Clark Street Bridge
  • Dearborn Street Bridge
  • State Street Bridge
  • Between Michigan Avenue and Columbus Street
  • Between Columbus Street and DuSable Lake Shore Drive
  • South of Navy Pier

For more information on the fireworks and where to view them either in person or at home, you can go to

Watch from home

You don't have to brave the cold or the crowds to watch the show. You can watch them in the comfort of your home if you tune into WGN-TV. The show will also be live-streamed on the WGN9+ streaming app.

The show has its critics

Not everyone is excited about Chicago's New Year's Eve fireworks. Although Mayor Lightfoot has urged viewers of the display to wear masks and socially distance, critics have expressed concern about the recent surge of Covid cases. Illinois health officials recently reported the state has experienced the highest surge of cases since the pandemic began.

Venues such as Navy Pier are requiring restrictions for admittance, like proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test, temperature checks, and mandatory masks. Navy Pier will offer free Covid tests to anyone entering the Aon Grand Ballroom.

Other concerns include the expense of such a large display and the possibility of violence downtown.

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Jennifer covers lifestyle content and local news for the Chicago area. New articles published each weekday.

Chicago, IL

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