The fireworks display illuminates downtown during Red, White & Boom in Columbus on July 3, 2017. Credit: Courtesy of TNS/Dispatch

Red, White & BOOM! — Columbus’s annual fireworks event — has been canceled for this year’s Fourth of July celebration due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event’s board of directors announced Thursday.

Red, White & BOOM! is one of the largest Midwest patriotic celebrations, where nearly 400,000 spectators traditionally gather to celebrate in the downtown Columbus area, according to previous Lantern reporting. Traditionally taking place on July 3, this year’s event would have been the 40th annual celebration along the Scioto Mile with live music and a parade in a prelude to the city’s firework show.

In an effort to continue the tradition, a four-night television campaign will air July 1-4 on NBC4. The multimedia event will feature parades honoring veterans and highlights of firework shows that have taken place throughout central Ohio’s history.

The Red, White & BOOM! board of directors is currently working to find on-site accommodations so people can celebrate while following social distancing guidelines.

“We planned that this years Red, White & BOOM! would be the best yet,” Ken Freedman, vice president and general manager of NBC4, said in the announcement. “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 & BOOM!” over the years that will end with a blast!”