A popular Fourth of July event is cancelled this year.

Due to ongoing concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic and financial losses, the Bay City Fireworks Festival will not take place until 2021. The event draws about 50,000 people a year to both sides of the Saginaw River, where the fireworks are on display. More than 100,000 people see the show city wide.

President of Bay City Fireworks Doug Clark says it’s a disappointment.

“It’s really heartbreaking to have to cancel. We’ve done this, I’ve personally been involved with this, this will be my 19th year being involved with the fireworks, and it’s just become a labor of love I think for everybody that’s on the committee… They do it because they love the festival and they think it’s a great thing for the community. But you have to do what’s better for the greater good, for everyone I think.”

A major part of the financing of the event comes from local donations. Clark says with the financial losses businesses have suffered during the Stay Home order during the pandemic, the committee didn’t feel it was appropriate to ask them to contribute to the festival.

Doug Clark stands with fireworks which can be purchased for the Fourth of July. (photo by Michael Percha)

However, the committee still has something special planned for the Fourth. Through Wolverine Fireworks Display, the committee is selling three packs of Class C fireworks cakes to the public for $100. They’re asking residents to shoot off fireworks, regardless of where they were purchased, at 10:12 p.m. city wide in a show of unity and togetherness.

Clark says it should be quite a sight to see.

“I think it is going to be one of the coolest things we’ve ever seen. I’m just hoping where I’m at and where a lot of people are at, I’m hoping you’ll be able to look around in a 360 and see fireworks going off all around you, all over your neighborhood. I think it would be just so cool.”

Clark reminds people to be safe and responsible when lighting the fireworks.

The committee is moving ahead with the festival for 2021. McLaren Bay Region Hospital has stepped in to take over as the presenting sponsor of the event after the current presenting sponsor backed out.

Anyone wanting to purchase the fireworks through the committee can call either (989) 280-1591 or (989) 329-0390.