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New Year's Eve in Tulsa will look different during COVID-19

Posted at 9:53 PM, Dec 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-30 23:28:57-05

TULSA, Okla. — New Year's Eve celebrations are looking different this year.

The day before New Year’s Eve is normally a busy one at the IDL Ballroom in Tulsa. This year it would be preparing for its 10th annual Crystal Ball Masquerade.

“We would actually be putting in a very long day with getting masquerades and VIP, all their stuff set up," said Tom Green, IDL Ballroom event manager.

But this isn’t a normal year. While IDL Ballroom did host a Halloween event, it decided against a New Year's Eve event.

Green said they’ve put safety precautions in place, including an air purification system, but, it’s just too difficult to host the event this year.

“I don’t feel like this is the time of year that we should really be out partying, celebrating New Year’s Eve," Green said. "To me, what’s the purpose of celebrating New Year’s Eve? We don’t know what the forecast of 2021s going to look like.”

The City of Tulsa is encouraging citizens to be careful this year. It released a statement saying:

“As we look forward to the new year, it’s important to stay vigilant on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Under Tulsa Health Department’s guidance, the City discourages large gatherings, especially ones with people who do not live in your household. All Tulsans are encouraged to continue to wear a mask, watch your distance and wash your hands. Residents and business owners should continue to follow City and State guidelines as they relate to gatherings. A mask mandate is still in effect for all Tulsans, ages 10 and over, and all events expecting 150 people or more in Tulsa must submit their COVID-19 safety plans to the Tulsa Health Department at least 14 calendar days before the event. For restaurants and bars who will be operating on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, it’s asked they continue to follow the State of Oklahoma’s guidelines as they relate to hours of operation.”
City of Tulsa

Some bars will be open late New Year's Eve as Gov. Kevin Stitt’s controversial executive order to close bars and restaurants at 11 p.m. is put on hold until a hearing Jan. 8. An order Green said is hurting their business.

“We’re down about 90 percent with this curfew," he said. "I mean, if they continue this curfew, we’ll probably shut down because we are a late night venue.”

Green’s New Year's Eve plans are looking a little different this year as he hopes for a better and more successful 2021.

“We have two small children, we’re going to spend it with them," Green said. "And then we’re going to look at 2021 and look at what can we do to add more fun at Unicorn Club.”

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