Smaller crowds expected for fireworks show

July 1, 2011

Photo by the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority
A rendering of the remodeled Navy Pier

Safety officials in Chicago say they expect smaller crowds for this year's Fourth of July fireworks. The city canceled its main fireworks display this year to save money, relying on Navy Pier's fireworks show Monday to lead the Fourth of July celebrations.

"We're looking at about 15 minutes of a display and the pier itself may not be the best spot to actually view them," said Gary Schenkel, the head of Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications. "I think you'd be better off along the waterfront if you really want to see the fireworks this year."

Schenkel said about 250,000 people converged around Navy Pier for last year's Fourth of July fireworks. He expects the pier to reach capacity this year, but overall numbers to be lower.

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