PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Many Southern New Englanders are looking forward to saying goodbye to another tough year.
Yet again, there will be a scaled-back celebration to ring in the new year, but some communities are still putting on events for everyone to attend.
New Year’s Eve Events:
- Buttonwood Park Zoo says you don’t have to wait until midnight to ring in the New Year. They are having a Noon Year’s Eve event from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- New Bedford is offering family fun activities from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. throughout downtown. The celebration will be followed by a fireworks display at 8:30 p.m.
- Patriot Place will have a special New Year’s Eve First Night Celebration featuring fireworks, ice sculptures, games, giveways, and more taking place from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Providence Children’s Museum announced the return of their Noon Year’s Eve celebration. Families can join one of two sessions, from 11:00am to 12:00 p.m., or 1:45 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
- Skyline in Providence will still host a party but it will be scaled down from 500+ people to 150.
- United Skates of America will have their annual family New Year’s Eve party from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. You can go skate, meet Sonic, and more for $15.99
- Warwick is holding a family friendly event where you can enjoy food from local food trucks between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., followed by a fireworks display you can enjoy from the warmth and comfort of your car.
One of the state’s most popular events, One Providence, the capital city’s celebration to ring in the new year, won’t be happening for a second straight year.
A spokesperson for the city told 12 News the decision was made months ago as precautionary safety measure due to COVID-19. Instead, the city funded smaller events like the City Hall Christmas tree lighting.
“New year’s will be a little bit different this year. Last year we didn’t get to do anything, so it’ll be scaled down, there won’t be a ball drop like we usually do, there won’t be fireworks… but, you know, we’ll still try to do it as best as possible, inside will be fun,” said Mike Mota, CEO of Skyline at Waterplace.
For Mota, the news of no fireworks or ball drop is a tough pill to swallow. The event takes place outside of his venue, and is a draw for people attending Skyline’s New Year’s Eve celebration.
He said it will still go on this year, just a scaled-down version with masks and vaccination requirements.
“Traditionally we have about 550 people inside, and we have about 10,000 people outside. So this year, obviously, nothing outside and we’re gonna look at 150 people possible on the inside,” Mota said. “We still have a fabulous skyline. We don’t have the fireworks, but we still have a fabulous skyline.
Dale Venturini, president of the Rhode Island Hospitality Association, said many large events are being canceled due to the latest surge, but smaller events are still on.
She said she’s hearing that many people still want to get out of the house and celebrate.
“I still see that people are optimistic and are ready to celebrate,” Venturini said. “Some of them small cancellations, most of the cancellations are in any of the bigger events. But I do feel that the customers are still wanting to go out and enjoy they’re just having to take a little bit more…some more precautions.”