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Queer New Year's Eve Celebrations: What's Canceled, What's Still On?

New Year's Eve Celebrations in San Francisco, Vegas, and London

San Francisco has canceled its New Year's Eve fireworks display. Here's what other popular LGBTQ+ destinations are doing. 

San Francisco announced earlier this week that it plans to cancel this year’s New Year’s Eve fireworks show in the midst of the ongoing surge of COVID-19 cases. According to KRON4, Mayor London Breed and City public safety leaders made the decision in part because reduced staffing levels due to the Omicron surge.

Fireworks Over the San Francisco BayThis year fireworks won't be seen over San Francisco

 

Other favorite LGBTQ+ cities have also decided to cancel public events while some are moving ahead with certain limitations. Here's what you need to know:

 

CITIES THAT HAVE CANCELED NEW YEAR'S EVE

ATHENS, GREECE

There will be no fireworks show over the Acropolis this year, after the country's Health Minister Thanos Plevris announced that all public Christmas and New Year celebrations planned by local municipalities were canceled.

 

ATLANTA, GEORGIA
The annual New Year’s Eve Peach Drop at Underground Atlanta was canceled according to a tweet from Underground Atlanta.

“While we are saddened to miss this year’s party and musical acts, we are very excited to bring the Peach Drop back next year and better than ever. Stay healthy everyone!” the tweet reads.

 

BERLIN, GERMANY

Germany has imposed strict contact restrictions to curb the spread of Omicron, and has prohibit New Year’s Eve gatherings, the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced before Christmas. So no big fireworks in Berlin, Munich, or Frankfurt.

 

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND

Public New Year’s Eve celebrations in Scotland will be canceled, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced in a statement December 21st .

 

Fireworks Over London BridgeLondon's New Year's Eve event was canceled this year.

 

LONDON, ENGLAND

A planned New Year’s Eve event in London has been canceled Mayor of London Sadiq Khan tweeted

“Due to the surge in COVID cases, we’ve taken the difficult decision to cancel our NYE event in Trafalgar Square,” said the tweet from Khan’s verified account. “The safety of all Londoners must come first.”

 

NEW DELHI, INDIA

The government of India’s union territory of Delhi, which encompasses the national capital of New Delhi, has announced a ban on all social, cultural, political and festival gatherings until further notice because of a rise in COVID-19 cases, CNN’s New Delhi Bureau reports.

 

PARIS, FRANCE

Paris has canceled its traditional fireworks display over the Champs-Elysées Avenue because of the Omicron surge.

“The fireworks will not take place, nor unfortunately will there be any DJ sets,” the mayor’s office said, according to France24.com. French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced earlier this month that major public parties and fireworks would be banned on New Year’s Eve according to Reuters.

 

ROME, ITALY

Large New Year’s Eve celebrations in Italy, including outdoor air concerts and fireworks in Venice.  Rome has canceled its fireworks display. Nightclubs will be also be closed through the month of January.

 

CITIES STILL PARTYING ON

BANGKOK, THAILAND

Thailand’s very queer capital will hold its celebrations, but only outdoor venues are allowed to remain open, according to the Bangkok Post, Attendees must be fully vaccinated, tested within 72 hours, and pre-registered.

 

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

Chicago is moving forward with its fireworks after canceling the show last year. Arena Partners CEO, John Murray, who is producing the event said in a statement, “This will be the largest fireworks display in the City’s history and one of the largest anywhere in the world.” A 1.5-mile-long fireworks show along the city’s lakefront and Chicago River will light up the city.

“I’m thrilled that we are able to welcome back our New Year’s Eve fireworks and hope to continue this tradition into the future,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement. “Importantly, the display can be viewed outdoors where the spread of COVID-19 is less likely, so our residents and visitors should feel comfortable while masking up and social distancing or even watching safely from home. I look forward to welcoming a happy new year.”

 

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA

The parties are still on in Ft. Lauderdale with queer-inviting W Fort Lauderdale celebrating New Year’s Eve with the GLOW UP, a technicolor blend of live music, artists, and fashion. Or dance under the stars at The Wharf along the New River. The open-air venue’s celebration will include live music, fun cocktails, and a selection of food vendors.

 

KEY WEST, FLORIDA

The queer island of Key West has no restrictions for this year’s New Year’s Eve. “We hope people stay outside, stay in groups of people they know are vaccinated, and stay away from people who are unvaccinated,” Mayor Teri Johnston said according to the Miami Herald. “It’s going to be crowded.” 

Key West Shoe Drop 2019 New Year's EveNew Year’s Eve revelers celebrate outside the Bourbon Street Pub, December 31, 2019, as drag queen Sushi (Gary Marion), is suspended above Duval Street ready for the countdown/drop. Rob O'Neal MONROE COUNTY TOURIST DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL

 

.A celebrated annual tradition (above) at Key West's Bourbon Street Pub, which has continued for more than 20 years, returns again. New York drops the ball, but queer Key West does a fabulous reinterpretation, dropping a giant high-heel burgundy pump instead — with a drag queen inside. Sushi (Gary Marion) will take the plunge at midnight:  the well-known queen crafts a gorgeous new outfit for the occasion each year.

 

Fireworks over Las Vegas StripVegas fireworks above Sin City

 

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

The queer-inclusive neon city of sin isn’t tempering its celebration, and will launch fireworks from eight hotel-casino roofs and continue for a jaw dropping eight minutes, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal. A downtown Vegas fireworks show will also be held.

 

MIAMI, FLORIDA

For the second year in a row, the Big Orange countdown — often referred to as a “drop” even though the Orange rises up the side of Miami’s Intercontinental Hotel— has been canceled. Instead, a digitized laser version will be used. Other city celebrations will continue as planned according to the Miami Hearld with fireworks and a concert with appearances by Willy Chirino, Gente de Zona, Nacho Chacal, and Yotuel.

 

Todrick Hall and Kim Petras

Todrick Hall and Kim Petras (above) will headline "Queer-chella," Jake Resnicow's Dreamland: New Year’s Festival rings in 2022 with a 4-day outdoor music extravaganza in Miami Beach.

 

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK

Despite record numbers of COVID-19 cases across the city, New York is going ahead its annual New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square, reports USA Today.

“We want to show that we’re moving forward, and we want to show the world that New York City is fighting our way through this,” Mayor Bill de Blasio told the TODAY Show Thursday.

The event normally hosts 58,000 people, but this year will be limited to about 15,000 attendees who will be required to wear masks and show proof of vaccination, de Blasio announced last week. While performers including KT Tunstall, Journey, and Karol G will take the stage, LL Cool J announced he would not be performing after testing positive for COVID-19, according to  Rolling Stone.

 

PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA

Miss Rusty Waters hosts as The Saguaro presents its 5th annual New Year’s Eve gala, filled with comedy and disco. Or celebrate with midnight fireworks, iconic look-alikes, food trucks and booths, an outdoor bar, live entertainment, and dancing at the Agua Caliente Casino Palm Springs. Find more at Desert Sun

 

Ptown 1st night triptych

PROVINCETOWN, MASSACHUSETTS

Provincetown's First Light events run all weekend long. Here's your guide to the queer celebrations.

 

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL

After canceling its New Year’s Eve celebrations earlier this month, Brazil’s party capital, reversed its decision.  According to CNN, Mayor Eduardo Paes explained “We want to celebrate the end of the year in a calm, safe and organized manner. We met with the Scientific Committee, which confirmed that it would be safe to hold the city’s New Year’s celebrations under the provisions presented by the city government.”

 

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

Despite mounting caseload of Omicron in Australia’s largest city Sydney’s famous New Year’s Eve fireworks display is set to continue. “We have six vantage points that are all in outdoor parks, but we are operating those on a one person per two square meters basis,” Stephen Gilby, executive producer of New Year’s Eve celebrations, said at a press conference. Find out more at the city of Sydney’s New Year’s Eve website.

 

 

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