No End-Of-Summer Fireworks: Riverfest 2020 is Officially Canceled

"We will not be permitting any gathering activities, beer sales, fireworks, gatherings on the river. The wonderful tradition of the fireworks will have to wait until 2021"

No End-Of-Summer Fireworks: Riverfest 2020 is Officially Canceled
Photo: CityBeat Archive

Greater Cincinnati's biggest end of summer bash has been canceled because of COVID-19: There will be no Riverfest this year.

Slated to take place Sept. 6, Cincinnatians will now have to find some other way to spend that day that doesn't involve waking up at 6 a.m. to snag a riverside viewing spot and chugging beer all day.

"We will not be permitting any gathering activities, beer sales, fireworks, gatherings on the river. The wonderful tradition of the fireworks will have to wait until 2021," said Mayor John Cranley during a press conference.

"It's inconceivable that we would feel comfortable to have that kind of a large gathering on the river a month from now, despite the fact that our numbers are getting better. No one thinks they'll get that great by then or that we'll have a vaccine by then." 

Launched more than four decades ago to celebrate the 10th anniversary of radio station WEBN, this gigantic Labor Day party officially says farewell to the season with a series of colorful explosions in the sky.

In addition to food, music, major traffic jams and one of the largest firework displays in the Midwest set to music from 102.7 FM (you are 100-percent guaranteed to hear “Smoke on the Water”), festgoers are generally surrounded by half a million other humans and a river full of boats — an obvious issue during a viral pandemic.

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