Pandemic forces changes to New Year’s Eve celebrations

Hampden County

Coronavirus Resources from the CDC

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP)- Northampton is normally the most popular spot in western Mass. to ring in the New Year.

But the city’s first night celebration went virtual to prevent any spread of COVID-19. That means no fireworks and no ball-raising over Hotel Northampton.

“We have to be careful in everything we do, and do social distancing, and warn people, don’t get caught up in major parties, and major events that will cause people to have the virus,” said Peter Ives of Northampton.

Since there were no fireworks or that traditional ball raising, people who would have came to Northampton stayed home and watched the virtual first night online. Local residents were bummed about first night, but most are staying positive.

“Its very odd to be in downtown Northampton, not see as many people, and not have all the activities,” said Kevin Anderson of Northampton. “That’s why he and I came into town to get some sense of normalcy associated with New Year’s Eve.”

“There’s a little sadness in the celebration, but I know many are trying to have a positive feeling for next year,” said Judy Herrell, Owner of Herrell’s Ice Cream Shop.

And the hope is 2021 will mean the end to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kevin Anderson said, “I think both of us just want to get back to that interaction with other people we miss it, hoping Fall 2021, we have our eyes set on that.”

Judy Herrell said, “This was enough to scare anybody half to death. I’d like to not have to be frightened liek this in my lifetime.”

Click here for all of the information on First Night 2021.

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