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New Years Eve fireworks event provides COVID-safe activity to celebrate end of 2020

Published: Dec. 28, 2020 at 4:10 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Fairbanks community will receive a fireworks display in the form of the annual New Year’s Eve Sparktacular. This event will begin at 8 p.m on December 31st, and the fireworks will launch from West Ridge at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

“It’s nice to be able to do something with the community that’s not being cancelled. That’s really cool, I hope we get a lot of people out to watch it on New Year’s Eve,” said Mike Thomas, coordinator of the Sparktacular.

University Fire and Police Departments will begin closing roads and ski trails near the staging area an hour before the fireworks launch at approximately 7 p.m.

“We’ve been doing this 31 years. This year I wasn’t even sure we we’re gonna do it because of the virus. But I was very happy to say that when I started talking to our sponsors and everything they said ‘well of course we’re gonna do it!’” said Thomas.

Many local businesses sponsor the event every year, and Wasilla-based company Alaska Pyrotechnics provides the fireworks.

“They chase down the fireworks, they get all the permits, they connect to the university where we’re gonna fire them off, so for the most part they do all the work,” said Thomas.

With the ongoing pandemic diminishing the scope of social gatherings, Thomas is glad this long running fireworks show is able to endure and safely bring the community together. “It was one of the few things that we can do this year that is not going to be cancelled because its all outdoors, we can social distance.”

Due to COVID-19 precautions, the majority of UAF buildings will be closed during the display. Masks are required indoors all throughout campus, and must also be worn outdoors in any case where it’s not possible to stay at least 6 feet apart from others.

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