Thousands of people watch the 4th of July fireworks display on Portland's East End Wednesday night. The show almost didn't go on this year due to funding problems.

Click here for the latest coronavirus news, which the BDN has made free for the public. You can support our critical reporting on the coronavirus by purchasing a digital subscription or donating directly to the newsroom.

Coronavirus concerns have forced Portland to cancel its Fourth of July fireworks celebration this year.

City Manager Jon Jennings was forced to cancel the show because large social gatherings are not permitted and budget constraints preclude the city from covering the expense this year, city spokeswoman Jessica Grondin said.

“It is the city’s hope to bring back this annual tradition in 2021,” Grondin said in a statement released Thursday.

[Our COVID-19 tracker contains the most recent information on Maine cases by county]

Portland’s decision follows Bangor’s announcement on Wednesday that its Fourth of July celebration, a downtown parade and fireworks show, have been rescheduled for Sept. 5, during Labor Day weekend. Renamed COVID Independence Day, the Bangor show will honor Mainers’ sacrifices over the past several months to halt the coronavirus’ spread. The name refers to COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.

Tens of thousands typically attend the Portland show, which features music by the Portland Symphony Orchestra and is held on the city’s Eastern Promenade.