New Years Eve events continue in Regina, Saskatoon despite rising COVID-19 numbers

Saskatchewan enters New Years celebrations with 735 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, the highest number recorded since the start of the pandemic. Some companies have canceled events as the end of the year approaches, while others have reduced capacity and many are continuing as planned.

Bushwakker Brewing Company in Regina is hosting a non-New Years event for its 16th year. It’s often a busier crowd than normal, according to bar and brewery marketing manager Grant Frew, but he doesn’t expect much of a mix.

Unlike other bars and nightclubs, it heralds the New Year with an intentional lack of celebration. Frew says their customers prefer the lack of fanfare on New Years Eve.

Despite some cancellations from larger groups, Frew says, it continues as planned with smaller groups filling up. He was unsure whether the cancellations were due to the increased number of COVID-19 cases or other factors, such as “minus 51 with the cold wind,” he said of the weather. .

“Looking at the number of reservations it’s a good number but I wouldn’t say we’re going to have people lined up at the gate,” Frew said.

He was surprised that the provincial government did not announce new public health measures at its press conference on Thursday afternoon, but it was also a relief as a manager of the hospitality industry.

“It’s really difficult with this variation… there’s so much information, I think that’s why we don’t try to think about it too much,” said Frew.

“We are following the rules set by the provincial government to the best of our ability, if not exceeding them. “

Amigos Cantina of Saskatoon has chosen to cancel their two events leading up to the new year.

In a Twitter post, Amigos announced that he was canceling his karaoke night on December 30 and Hootenanny’s New Years Eve “due to the increase in COVID-19 cases.”

The cantina is expected to remain open for on-site or take-out meals and tickets for Friday’s event will be refunded, he said.

A spokesperson for the cantina could not be reached for comment until the time of publication.

New Year’s events continue

Some restaurants and many nightclubs in Saskatchewan’s two cities are not stopping COVID-19 events.

Vodka and Ale House in Birmingham, east Regina, is on common ground in reducing the number of tickets sold for its New Years Eve event.

Participants buy counterfeit money to play and bid on prizes throughout the night. The restaurant had considered canceling the event, but instead reduced capacity.

He had initially prepared 200 tickets for sale, but reduced it to 100 a few weeks before the event, according to general manager Levi Warren.

“[COVID-19] is always behind the back of our minds, right? It’s been like that lately… we always want to make sure that everyone is wearing their mask when they are not seated or when they are [not] eat or drink, ”Warren said.

Current public health orders require people to remain masked indoors, unless they are seated, and to provide proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.

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