Pandemic causing changes to some New Year’s Eve events


OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) – The new year starts at midnight on Friday, but issues stemming from the pandemic through much of the current year are affecting how celebrations will be done.

Several hundred people attend the Owensboro Museum of Science and History’s Noon Year’s Eve every year since 2006.

“We usually have about 800 people at the museum for Noon Year’s Eve. It’s a very popular event that’s grown over the years,” says museum CEO Kathy Olson. But for this year, the party moves from the museum to the museum’s Facebook page.

“Due to COVID guidelines, we are limited in the number of people that we can allow into the museum. We didn’t want to leave anyone out. So, we decided that the safest way to do it, and to include as many people as possible would be to offer a virtual event,” says Olson.

The museum’s noon year’s eve is one of several events that are either moving online, or being canceled due to the pandemic. No new year’s events are scheduled at the Owensboro Convention Center, or at the RiverPark Center. Executive Director Rich Jorn says the loss of events could also mean a loss for other downtown businesses.

“It’s a huge hit. There’s not only us, but all the restaurants, bars and various things going on around town in the downtown area. There’s a lot of people that aren’t going to come down and go out,” he said.

Other places are still going forward with their New Year’s Eve plans. The owners of Diamond Lake Resort in Daviess County say they still plan to hold a concert here at their theatre, but that capacity will be limited to up to a third of capacity, and masks will be worn at all times.

Resort co-owner Brian Smith says there hasn’t been any positive cases traced to other events held at their theater since the pandemic started.

“We’re trying to put musicians that have been out of work for months and months and months, We’re trying to put them to work in a safe environment, where we can do this with distancing. We’re going to require masks,” he said.

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(This story was originally published on December 29, 2020) 

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