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City will not hold downtown New Year's Eve celebration

Veronica Volk

For a second straight year, the city of Rochester won’t be holding a New Year's Eve celebration downtown because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city’s communications director, Justin Roj, said a mass gathering amid the rise in COVID-19 cases may not be wise.

“Let's be safe,” Roj said. "Let's encourage people to celebrate how they feel comfortable.”

Past versions of the family-friendly event featured fireworks and free skating at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park at Manhattan Square. In 2019, there was a dance party at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center with giant bounce houses, obstacle courses, air brush tattoos, and photo booths.

Roj is hoping residents instead choose to support local businesses that have been struggling throughout the pandemic but continue to serve our community.

“The best way we can pay that back is obviously through our patronage,” he said.

James Brown is a reporter with WXXI News. James previously spent a decade in marketing communications, while freelance writing for CITY Newspaper. While at CITY, his reporting focused primarily on arts and entertainment.