Nothing to see here, folks: No NYE fireworks planned in Aspen
Fireworks above Aspen have been canceled; the show goes on in Snowmass
There are no fireworks in Aspen on New Year’s Eve as is the tradition, due to concerns of spreading the coronavirus through gatherings.
However, there are fireworks in Snowmass Village on the eve of 2021, but they are not designed for attracting big groups.
“We don’t get huge crowds when we do fireworks,” said Rose Abello, tourism director for the town of Snowmass Village. “We are not trying to create a scene, or a there, there.”
The display will start at 9:45 p.m. and last approximately nine minutes, and is really geared toward guests who are staying in properties that are slopeslide on Fanny Hill and around the village.
That type of event is much different than what Aspen puts on, which traditionally attracts large gatherings of people in downtown parks and in the streets.
But due to COVID-19 public health protocols, the city’s fireworks plans got shut down quickly.
The city first reached out to Pitkin County, through the sheriff’s office, public health and the manager, to get approval for hosting such an event, but the permit was not approved due to potential COVID-19 issues.
“We did have concerns about how crowds and informal gatherings would be managed that were shared with city staff while we were working on the business safety plan and they made the difficult decision to cancel the event based on these concerns,” said Pitkin County Manager Jon Peacock via email Wednesday. “This was a responsible decision by city staff based on increasing incidence rates, and the difficulties of managing viewing throughout the city.”
If one must see fireworks on New Year’s Eve, Snowmass is an option, but people are asked to watch from their cars, officials said.
Due to public health orders, restaurants in Snowmass and Aspen must do last call at 9:30 p.m. with a mandatory close at 10 p.m.
Abello said having fireworks at 9:45 p.m. is a way to help restaurants clear their establishments and comply with the curfew.
“If we felt this would be a high-risk environment we wouldn’t do this,” she said. “I’ve been to city of Aspen fireworks and this is a different feel, and I respect their decision to not have them.”
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