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Milwaukee's July 3 fireworks have been canceled due to inadequate resources and staffing

Milwaukee's enormous July 3 fireworks display has been canceled for the second year in a row. Organizers say the display, which draws more than 100,000 to the lakefront each year, should return in 2022.

Milwaukee’s July 3 firework display, which attracts over 100,000 people to Milwaukee’s lakefront each year, is cancelled for 2021 but should return in 2022.

In a statement, the county cited staffing shortages, not Covid-19, as the reason for the cancellation.

“Our team at Milwaukee County Parks is working tirelessly to ensure that people can safely enjoy parks, trails and amenities as much as possible this summer, but we are still stretched thin," Milwaukee County Parks Executive Director Guy Smith. “Cancelling this event was a difficult decision that we’ve been discussing for months with everyone involved, and we also looked at the possibility of postponing the event until the fall, but it comes down to simply lacking the resources and staffing needed to prepare and clean-up from such a largescale event.”

Last year Radio Milwaukee spoke with Milwaukee County Parks Deputy Director Jen Francis about what she described as a "desperate and dire" budget crunch. In a normal summer, the department hires more than 900 workers to help take care of garbage, litter, restrooms and other maintenance tasks. Last year it only hired 200.

The fireworks display was sponsored in 2019 by American Family Insurance, Milwaukee Brewers Foundation and T&M Partners.