Despite new restrictions from Queen’s Park, Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman says New Year’s Eve plans in the city can still be held.
“We are able to proceed under the province’s rules because the city, like everyone, is subject to a 50% capacity,” the mayor told Barrie 360. “But I do think in the interests of safety, we’re going to have to be a little bit careful about crowded ice rinks and things like that.”
The city’s plans include:
- Special programs centered around holiday themes at Holly Community Centre and East Bayfield Community Centre (5-8 p.m.)
- A holiday performance by the Mariposa School of Skating at Holly Community Centre (5 p.m.)
- A skating party at the Circle at the Centre, featuring a live DJ and light show (6-9 pm)
- Leisure skating at the Centennial Park Community Ice Rink (6-9 pm)
- Free transit starting at 3 p.m. until the end of regular service
- And to conclude the evening’s family festivities, a fireworks show will take place over Kempenfelt Bay at 9 p.m. The fireworks will be able to be seen from multiple vantage points throughout the downtown. There will be no fireworks show at midnight.
“That’s [fireworks] something that you can enjoy from your car, enjoy in a park because you don’t have to be in a big crowd of people, that’s why it’s out over the waterfront. I do think in the dead of winter, in the cold, people aren’t going to want to come out by the tens of thousands and set up lawn chairs. So, you know, you come down for a little bit and enjoy them and be distanced. We think that piece is relatively safe.
Lehman says all events were designed to be COVID safe to begin with, adding they’ll have to keep looking at it as things change day by day.
Residents are reminded to review the proof of vaccination requirements before visiting the community centres.