By Mugo Odigwe

CHICAGO (CBS)– Despite growing COVID-19 cases, Chicago is moving forward with its big celebration this New Year’s Eve.

That means a lot of fireworks as well as a lot of precautions.

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The city will ring in the New Year on Friday night with what is billed as the largest fireworks display in the city’s history, with multiple displays going off along a 1.5-mile stretch of the Chicago River and the lakefront.

At midnight, fireworks displays will launch from just south of Navy Pier as well as seven locations along the Chicago River, including LaSalle and State streets.

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot defended the decision because the city’s New Year’s Eve festivities are being held outdoors, and spread over such a large area, she’s confident the city is taking the proper precautions to limit the spread of the virus.

“Let’s keep in mind, it’s outdoors, and there was a conscious decision made not only obviously that it’s outdoors, but to spread it out so that we don’t have massive crowds gathering in one place,” she said.

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Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady stressed that, while the city has touted this year’s New Year’s Eve fireworks as the largest ever in the city’s history, the festivities are being held outdoors, where risk of transmitting the virus is lower, and spread out over a 1.5-mile stretch downtown, allowing for greater spacing.