Lifting of outdoor restrictions brings hope of New Year’s celebrations in Barrie

While it may be too late to get a Santa Claus Parade together for Barrie this year, there is hope for a New Year’s Eve event of some description.

Related: Still no Santa Claus Parade in Barrie despite province lifting outdoor event capacity limits

Mayor Jeff Lehman says the announcement from Queen’s Park lifting capacity restrictions for outdoor events has opened the door, and discussions are underway. “We are hoping to help people celebrate New Year’s in all parts of the city, actually… it won’t all be virtual, I can say that.”

Related: Collingwood Santa Claus Parade will celebrate the “Lights of Christmas”

A big downtown concert, as in years previous, is out of the question, the mayor told Barrie 360. An event such as that, he said, requires six months or more of planning.

Mayor Jeff Lehman

And, he is still concerned about a huge gathering as we make our way out of the pandemic.

“It’s still out there, it’s still a concern.”

Still, Lehman says it’s time to lift more and more limits as we go week by week, “because we’re just not seeing the increases that had been feared. And we have to get back to normal life and living with the virus in the world. With a high rate of vaccination, and still some things like indoor masks for a little while longer, we’re probably going to be good. And if we just take it careful, I think we can be okay.”