Milwaukee Will Have No Lakefront Fireworks in 2020

The only fireworks we’ll experience this year are the ones from a Katy Perry music video.

These days it seems like everything fun is being canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. One more event to add to that list: Milwaukee’s Fourth of July lakefront fireworks.

The event, presented by American Family Insurance, T&M Partners, the Milwaukee Brewers and Milwaukee County Parks and planned for July 3 this year, will not be rescheduled.

“This is a tough decision but the only right one,” said Cheryl Cieciwa, chairwoman of the city’s Fourth of July Commission. “We are disappointed we will not be gathering with our friends and neighbors to celebrate the Fourth this year, but we look forward to resuming this cherished Milwaukee tradition in 2021.”

In place of this year’s 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.”

Outgoing County Executive Chris Abele praised the event’s sponsors, who came forward when last year’s fireworks were endangered by a lack of funding. 

“This partnership has been a home run for Milwaukee. No one could have predicted the situation we’re in with COVID-19,” Abele said. “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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Morgan is a 2020 MilMag intern. She's Minnesota born, but has a Milwaukee heart. An Alverno College undergraduate and will be graduating in December 2020 . Follow her on social media @morgan_lemner