Minneapolis' "Red, White and Boom" celebration will once again be back on the riverbank — just without the boom.

In lieu of the traditional Independence Day fireworks there will be a 25-minute laser show on July 3, projected against a screen at Boom Island Park.

The annual fireworks, put on by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, used to draw more than 70,000 attendees to the Mississippi River near Water Power Park.However, the Park Board hasn't hosted the popular event since 2019.

COVID-19 caused the fireworks show to fizzle in 2020. And in 2021 and 2022, the Park Board opted for smaller neighborhood events, citing staffing issues. This year, it decided to return to a single, central event. It considered a variety of options, including a traditional fireworks show at Mill Ruins Park or Boom Island.

But at a March meeting of the board's commissioners, Annie Olson, director of visitor services, said a fireworks show could saddle the board with a deficit of $4,000 to $10,000.

"To me, [it] sounds pretty much like taking money and lighting it literally on fire," said District 3 commissioner Becky Alper.

In addition to the cost, Park Police Chief Jason Ohotto pointed to a police staffing shortage as another obstacle to a large-scale fireworks show. With Taste of Minnesota taking place on Nicollet Mall the same weekend, he said the city's officers would be spread too thinly.

"It's tens of thousands, if not a hundred thousand people that come to the riverfront, and we are trying to manage that with a police department of about 50 people," Ohotto said.

The laser show is an experiment for the Park Board, said Aaron Briner, event coordinator for the Park Board, who compared the experience to a drive-in movie.

"It's kind of new to us," he said. "You have to be inside Boom Island to see it. With traditional fireworks, people can see them shoot up into the sky from all over."

The celebration begins at 8 p.m. July 3 with live music and food trucks. The laser show will starts at 10 p.m.

Other cities in the Twin Cities metro area will have fireworks this weekend and on July 4th.