Year’s Eve fireworks over Shipyards Park in Whitehorse on Dec. 31, 2018. The City of Whitehorse announced Dec. 16 that the annual New Year’s Eve fireworks show is cancelled this year due to COVID-19. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News New file)

Year’s Eve fireworks over Shipyards Park in Whitehorse on Dec. 31, 2018. The City of Whitehorse announced Dec. 16 that the annual New Year’s Eve fireworks show is cancelled this year due to COVID-19. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News New file)

Fireworks cancelled

The sky over Shipyards Park will be quiet this New Year’s Eve.

The City of Whitehorse announced Dec. 16 that the annual New Year’s Eve fireworks show is cancelled due to COVID-19.

The event typically draws large crowds downtown, particularly in Shipyards Park.

“We prioritize the safety of our residents, visitors and staff,” Mayor Dan Curtis said in a statement. “It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but we need to respect physical distancing guidelines. We really hope we can put on a great show for you again in 2021.”

At the weekly COVID-19 update on Dec. 17 Yukon Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley was asked whether he was involved in the decision to cancel the annual display.

Hanley responded that it was the first time he had heard of the cancellation and wasn’t involved in the decision.

“We provide guidance, and I generally try to keep an arm’s length from individual decisions, because they’re made based on so many circumstances,” he said.

“It’s really giving the specific kind of a template where you might find risks and how you should mitigate those risks and then really letting the organization decide based on their own capacity,” he said.

While a number of events and activities have been altered over the holidays, the city has released a calendar of holiday activities for families on its website.

Included in the list are the Santa stories available through the city web site, the self-guided city lights tour and other options.

The Canada Games Centre will also offer its Christmas drop-in schedule between Dec. 19 and Jan. 3.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com

Contact Haley Ritchie at haley.ritchie@yukon-news.com

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