What’s Booming: Auld Lang Syne, Covid Style

By Steve Cook | December 30th, 2021

Ringing in the New Year, and hoping for a new, improved year ahead

new years eve at home Photo by Liligraphie Dreamstime. For article, "What's Booming: New Year's Eve Covid style"

Last week, we offered a few unique suggestions if you’re looking for a lively and unique New Year’s Eve destination. Now that Omicron has come to town and health experts recommend more intimate NYE celebrations, the options have shriveled. In that spirit, we present Auld Lang Syne Covid style: one outdoor, pandemic-friendly celebration and several virtual ideas.


One Virginia celebration – in real life – is safe because it is outside. The other is safe … because it is too far away, and good luck finding a flight!

New Year’s Eve at Winterfest, Kings Dominion

Dec. 31, 5 p.m.-1 a.m.

Festive fun for all ages, including the WinterFest Wonderland Parade, performances by TFC at the Grande Bandstand, and much more. When the clock strikes midnight, 2022 kicks off with a bang with a grand fireworks show. Plus free party hats and horns, while supplies last.


Meanwhile, in Des Moines

Dec. 31, 5 p.m.-midnight CST

Before I conclude, I want to acknowledge one of our Facebook followers who lamented that we don’t cover enough out-of-Richmond restaurants or events. He suggested we do something from Des Moines, Iowa. So, here goes:

Although I have never been to Des Moines, from what I read, Clyde’s Fine Diner sounds like a wonderful place. Well, this Friday, Clyde’s is throwing an upscale cocktail party, with two party-time options. The package includes beer, wine and hors d’oeuvres, plus at midnight, Champagne. Just keep in mind that midnight doesn’t come until 1 a.m. …


New Year’s Eve on a Screen

I keep hearing about these Covid variants. While it’s all Greek to me, I understand the wisdom of throwing a “Come one, come all” Zoom party and of viewing streaming celebrations. Not only are masks not required, you can party in your pajamas AND you can start ringing the New Year in at 8 o’clock on Friday morning – that’s midnight in Sydney. Here’s a sampling.

In Sydney, Australia

8 a.m. EST, your smart TV or computer/tablet

Catch one of the earliest NYE events on a variety of streaming cams. View fireworks over the Sydney Opera House.


In Hong Kong, China

11 a.m. EST, your smart TV or computer/tablet

Greet the new year in style with a spectacular fireworks display over Victoria Harbour, from the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.


In New York City

Beginning at 6 p.m. EST on your smart TV or computer/tablet

On the official Times Square website

Have you always wanted to be in Times Square to watch the ball drop? Sure, you can catch it on network TV, but why not join a virtual party, which is being described as an “enhanced virtual, visual, and digital event. The fun starts at 6 p.m. EST.


On in the Times Square Metaverse

Explore virtual Times Square, from lighting and raising the Waterford Crystal ball to ball drop and pyrotechnics; play games; and livestream NYE celebrations.


Host a virtual party

Whenever you want, at home

We’re probably all pros by now in online virtual gatherings like Zoom. You can connect with friends and family without concerns over masking or vaccination status. And you can even play games over Zoom!

And thanks to the creative adaptations from restaurants, breweries, and other hospitality members, you can order curbside pickup and delivery of food and alcohol (including cocktails from participating restaurants!).

Like this offer from Ardent Craft Ales in Richmond, delivering from 12-8 p.m. on Dec. 31 and 2-6 pm on New Years Eve. “With 15+ beers available, we’ve got a style for everybody! Every order automatically qualifies for FREE home delivery!”


This week’s restaurant highlight + happy hour:

Trio Restaurant & Market in North Carolina’s Outer Banks + Happy Hour at Izzy’s Kitchen in Richmond

This week’s What’s Booming newsletter:

More Auld Lang Syne Covid Style

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