NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Going out on News Year’s Eve is a tradition for many people but the COVID-19 pandemic made people think twice about getting together over the past two years.

Even though some rain is in the forecast tomorrow, people told 22News they’re ready to celebrate with loved ones and their community once again. Adding Northampton is the perfect place to say farewell to 2022.

“To get together with friends and celebrate the end of the year is an opportunity to get together and share some quality time,” said Walter Mena from North Andover.

Many choosing to do so in Northampton! Which has become the mecca of all things New Year’s Eve in western Massachusetts.

“I’m just excited that there’s so much stuff going in terms of the arts and just life coming back it’s cool,” Jimmy Murphy from Northampton told 22News.

When it comes to New Year’s celebrations people believe its important to keep safety at the forefront. From drinking responsibly and assigning a designated driver to even creating a game plan to ensure that all new years celebrations go off without a hitch.

“You don’t need to plan everything out but kind of have an idea okay I’m going to walk to town this is where I’m going to go. I’m going to go with a friend or I’ll carpool or something my friend is going to stay sober something like that,” said Murphy.

Pedestrian safety is a top priority ahead of first night in Northampton, following a string of deadly pedestrian accidents in the valley. According to Northampton Police, local law enforcement will block off king street in front of hotel Northampton. Main Street and Pleasant Street will also be impacted. For those walking around from venue to venue, this message from the community.

“Be present and be careful where you’re going please watch every side and be mindful when crossing the street but also keep an eye on drivers,” said Ena Peña from North Andover

So before heading out to those New Year’s celebration you’re being encouraged to have a plan and kept safety in mind with police emphasizing the importance of using side walks.