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Watered down celebrations; New Year’s Eve with a twist

Posted at 3:29 PM, Dec 31, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Normally, the Distillery District in Lexington would be hopping with New Year’s Eve revelers crawling from one establishment to the next. But that will not be the case this year. Most of the bars here won’t be hosting parties tonight, leaving Elkhorn Tavern on its own.

“We just decided to do this in the last couple of weeks,” said manager Levi Lany.

In accordance with state COVID-19 guidelines, Elkhorn Tavern will operate at 50% capacity tonight. Masks will be required of all customers when moving around, and the seating will be spread out. And you can forget about that champagne toast at midnight.

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“Cutting off service at 11, then watch the ball drop and everyone will have to leave after that,” Lany said of tonight’s plan.

He said it’ll still be a good time, and he’s hoping their mandates will give people a safe place to enjoy the night. He also said they can send you home with some drinks, if you’d like to continue the celebration beyond midnight.

Champs, a 50,000 square foot palace for kids, featuring roller skating, laser tag, arcade games and mini golf, is also back to operating at 50% capacity.

“We anticipate having more parents this year,” said owner Nicholas Champa. Normally, he said, parents might drop the kids off, and head to their own gatherings.

“The things you didn’t think about in the past, you’re now forced to put additional thought into,” Champa added.

As Champa was speaking with LEX 18, a staff member was using a tool which sprays a 70% isopropyl mixture to sanitize every surface inside the building. Roller skating is usually the main attraction here on New Year’s Eve, and Champa knows that can be done safely.

“As they’re skating they’re listening to music, and you roll by (while talking to friends), it’s not like you’re stopped and just talking in someone’s personal space.

365 days ago that’s not even something we considered.

Inside Champs a sign reads, “goodbye 2020.” Champa, whose business has lost more than 1.2 million dollars this year, has a different feeling about the soon-to-be-old-year.

“Good riddance, 2020!”

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