Are you out in Chicago for New Years Eve? Do you decide to stay at home but still want to see the fireworks?

Here are a few things to know about New Years Eve in Chicago, including how to watch the countdown live.

Chicago Fireworks Show

A 2.5 km-long fireworks display will explode along the city’s lake and the Chicago River at midnight on New Year’s Eve, marking the city’s entry into 2022.

The free fireworks display can be seen along the Chicago River from Wolf Point near the Franklin / Orleans Street Bridge east of Columbus Drive to Navy Pier.

The fireworks display will also air live on NBC 5’s “A Very Chicago New Year” show and will air live on and the NBC Chicago app. The show will also stream via NBC Chicago’s free apps on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple.

“It will be the largest fireworks display in the city’s history and one of the largest in the world,” said Arena Partners CEO John Murray, who produced the event after a two-hour hiatus. years due to the COVID pandemic, in a statement. .

The show will be choreographed to a “special soundtrack” and will be synchronized at eight separate launch sites along the Chicago River, in Lake Michigan and near Navy Pier.

Police and security measures

Chicago Police Superintendent. David Brown said residents can expect to see an increased presence of DPCs along the transit system, at CTA stations and more. He urged parents not to drop children off unsupervised and warned that any criminal conduct, regardless of age, would result in arrest.

The city also urged the public to “be aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious activity.”

“If you notice anything suspicious, notify security on site or call 9-1-1,” the city said in an alert.

The city noted that a new Smart911 feature is available to help the Chicago Police Department (CPD) better serve Chicago communities.

“Residents with an existing or new Smart911 security profile can volunteer to share recorded home surveillance camera footage with police if a crime occurs near or outside their residence,” the said. city. “By simply registering on an existing Smart911 profile or by creating a new profile on, residents can agree to share footage from home surveillance cameras by allowing the CPD to contact them in the event of a crime. All information is private. ”

Street closures

The Riverwalk will be closed to pedestrian traffic early before the fireworks display.

In addition, the streets and bridges of the central business district will be closed to all traffic as of Friday 11 p.m., with a reopening scheduled for 12:30 a.m. on Saturday.

Here is a list of street, bridge and boardwalk closures:

  • As of 4 p.m., the sidewalks will be closed to pedestrians on one side of each of the following bridges (pedestrians will have access to the sidewalk on the remaining side of the bridge and will be able to cross until the bridges close for the exhibition launch. between 11-11:30 p.m.):
    • Franklin Bridge / Orleans Street (west sidewalk)
    • Lasalle Street Bridge (east sidewalk)
    • Clark Street Bridge (east sidewalk)
    • Dearborn Street Bridge (West Sidewalk)
    • State Street Bridge (east sidewalk).
  • At 4 p.m., the Chicago Riverwalk will close east of State Street to all pedestrian traffic. The rest of the Riverwalk west of State Street will close for public safety reasons. Viewing will not be permitted from the Chicago Riverwalk.
  • Starting at 11 p.m., expect the Franklin / Orleans Street, Lasalle Street, Clark Street, Dearborn Street, and State Street bridges to close to all traffic and pedestrians.
  • Also at 11:00 p.m., the Eastbound Upper, Middle and Lower Wacker Parkways will be closed to vehicular traffic from Lake Street to Stetson Avenue. Pedestrian traffic and viewing from Upper Wacker Drive will be permitted.
  • Streets and bridges are expected to reopen to vehicular traffic approximately 10 minutes after the fireworks end. All bridges and streets are expected to reopen at 12:30 a.m. on Saturday.

CTA routes and NYE plans

  • The CTA will operate on a Sunday / public holiday schedule on Friday.
  • Free journeys: CTA will offer free journeys by bus and train from 10:00 p.m. on Friday (12/31) and until 4:00 a.m. on Saturday (1/1); customers do not need to use their Ventra card or other payment methods to board buses or enter stations during this time (More information).
  • Bus service: From 10 p.m. on Friday and until 2 a.m. on Saturday, the following CTA buses traveling north and south on the river will only run to Wacker during the fireworks display :
    • # 3 King Drive
    • # 6 Jackson Park Express
    • # 22 Clark
    • # 36 Broadway
    • # 62 Archer
    • # 146 Inner Drive / Michigan Express
    • # 147 Express outer disc
    • # 151 Sheridan
  • Other buses near the fireworks, including those serving Wacker Drive and Navy Pier, are subject to temporary and rolling detours to adjacent streets.
  • A complete list of all the impacts of the CTA bus service is available at
  • Properly worn masks are required at all times on buses, trains and CTA properties.

Impacts on boats

  • Reinforced security measures will be put in place.
  • No boats are allowed to transit the USCG Security Zone, which includes the area just west of the Franklin Street Bridge and continues east of the Columbus Drive Bridge.

COVID directives

City officials say even though the historic fireworks display comes at a time when COVID cases are on the rise, they are encouraging residents to celebrate the holidays safely.

“I am delighted that we can host our New Year’s fireworks again and look forward to continuing this tradition in the future,” Lightfoot said in a statement. “It is important to note that the display can be viewed outdoors where the spread of COVID-19 is less likely, so our residents and visitors should feel comfortable while masking and distancing themselves socially or even while watching safely from home. I look forward to welcoming a happy new year. “

The city reminded residents that mask warrants remain in place indoors and said many sites will require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test to participate in holiday events.

Earlier this week, Governor JB Pritzker sent a direct message hoping to persuade residents to return home for the holidays.

“Omicron and Delta are coming to your party,” the governor said, as he urged people to be careful and think twice before participating in large gatherings.

Regarding general gatherings, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, acknowledged that “people are going to do whatever they want to do.” But she explained that those who decide to participate in the celebrations can use strategies to reduce the likelihood of contracting COVID-19.

“… If you are going to be in a rally, there are a lot of people that you keep your mask on all the time, and you put on a high quality mask,” she advised. “Then, when you have to take it off to eat or drink, keep a certain distance from others so as not to exchange air with people in front of you …”

Some people may think that once they arrive at a party, the masks may disappear, the doctor said, but said “this is absolutely the wrong strategy.”

“Next year, you know, by 2023, you can have your … face without a mask,” she said. “For this year, let’s do the New Year’s kids, with our masks.”

How to watch

NBC 5 Chicago will ring in the New Year with a special, “A Very Chicago New Year,” hosted by Cortney Hall and Matthew Rodrigues of “Chicago Today.” The program celebrates some of the best the city has to offer.

To help kick off 2022, several celebrities are making appearances, including Chicago New Years Eve icons Janet Davies and Mark Giangreco. The unofficial Chicago couple’s reunion on New Years Eve leads to some fun antics the couple have been known for for the past 20 years.

“We’re excited to bring this Chicago ensemble together to start the new year and bring viewers an expanded show this year,” said Kevin Cross, president of NBC Universal Local Chicago.

It wouldn’t be New Years without some fun games and keepsakes with celebs Buddy Guy, Dan Aykroyd, Jim Belushi, Giuliana Rancic and more. Plus, performances by rock legends Chicago and The Blues Brothers.

The show will air Friday, December 31 at 11:08 p.m. on NBC 5, streaming on and via NBC Chicago’s free apps on Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Apple.

How to receive alerts

OEMC will issue all necessary alerts and notifications to keep residents and participants informed of weather conditions and emergencies. Subscribe to NotifyChicago alerts on OEMC also issues TEXT alerts for lakeside advisories, business issues, or COVID-19 updates:

  • CHILAKE: For notices on the lake, TEXT “CHILAKE” at 7-8-0-1-5
  • CHIBIZ: For alerts concerning companies, TEXT “CHIBIZ” at 6-7-2-8-3
  • COVID: Receive COVID-19 updates by sending “COVID19” by SMS to 6-7-2-8-3