Skyfire has been postponed until later this year due to concerns about coronavirus.
The event is staged by FM 104.7 and its company, Canberra FM Radio, made the decision at lunchtime to postpone the event which was to see 100,000 people gather on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin on Saturday night.
It is understood to be the first time the event has been cancelled since 1989.
"With the primary focus being on the health and well-being of all people and to ensure a safe event, Canberra FM radio has made the decision to postpone Skyfire 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic currently impacting Australia," a statement read.
"As the largest, single-day public gathering on the Canberra calendar, the health and safety of all involved is paramount.
"Our intention is to reschedule the event for later in the year, once we can bring the Canberra community together in an environment deemed safe for everyone.
"We look forward to announcing Canberra's biggest celebration later in the year."
Canberra FM Radio general manager Craig Wagstaff said at a press conference earlier in the day the radio station's concern was that Skyfire was "safe, sustainable and successful".
More than two tonnes of fireworks are waiting on barges to go off. It takes Fonti International Fireworks eight months to plan the event, with the fireworks synchronised to a nearly 20-minute soundtrack.
There were 20,000 separate effects planned in the spectacular.
Mr Wagstaff said he was not certain if Skyfire had ever been cancelled before, but it was unlikely.
ACT Policing had been working on the assumption Skyfire was going ahead, Detective Station Sergeant Matt Reynbolds told a media conference at 11am. But that changed little more than two hours later when the decision was made to postpone the event.
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