COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Red, White, & BOOM!’s traditional annual downtown Columbus fireworks event is canceled for 2020, the board of directors announced Thursday.
Instead, the patriotic celebration will continue as a four-night event televised on NBC4.
Red, White & BOOM!, a 501c3 nonprofit supported by NBC4, G&J Pepsi, WNCI and Encova Insurance, announced the traditional celebration will be canceled for 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19 and the continued effort to stop its spread. The event, traditionally held each year along the banks of the Scioto River in downtown Columbus, typically draws upwards of 400,000 Ohioans to celebrate the Fourth of July—the largest Independence Day celebration in the Midwest.
Instead, the four-night television event on NBC4 and NBC4i.com will air from Wednesday, July 1 – Saturday, July 4. For nearly four decades, NBC4 has broadcast Red, White & BOOM! to Central Ohioans. That tradition will continue each night, featuring the best fireworks shows over the course of 39 years of Red, White & BOOM!, and a different theme highlighting the best stories of Central Ohio’s annual celebration. The first will feature the stories of local veterans inducted into the Ford Oval of Honor.
“We’re excited with what we can do. We know we have to adjust,” said Ken Freedman, VP & General Manager of NBC4. “We’ve all adjusted in these days of COVID-19 and we will adjust to this. We believe we can put together some great shows to make people feel good, proud of their country, and celebrate the nation’s birth.”
In addition, the Red, White & BOOM! board of directors is working to identify possible on-site events where Ohioans can come together safely while respecting local, state and federal guidelines in July.
“We planned that this year’s Red, White & BOOM! would be the best yet,” Freedman reflected. “However, as we have all changed our lives in the era of Covid-19, so too has RW&B! adapted to a new reality. Instead of a huge party on the Scioto Mile, NBC4 and our partners plan a multi-day TV, Digital and Social media event. With 39 years of archived video and stories, we promise a fascinating and exciting look at “Red, White and Boom!” over the years that will end with a blast!”
Red, White & BOOM! is produced and supported by NBC4, G&J Pepsi, WNCI and Encova Insurance.
“G&J Pepsi is excited about the 4-night television campaign,” said Rick Kaplan, VP of Marketing for G&J Pepsi, It’s a great way to celebrate the amazing decades of Red, White & BOOM! together while respecting social distancing and keeping everyone safe.”
The plan for 2021 is to come back better than ever with a spectacular, live fireworks extravaganza.
“Next year when we come back and we will come back and we will come back strong, I just hope everybody who shows up remembers that buying food and beer and drinks and things like that from the concessionaires that are down there, that is what helps pays for BOOM!” explained Freedman.
Stay tuned to NBC4 for updates on Red, White & BOOM!