Despite rise in COVID cases, New Year’s Eve celebrations will go on in downtown Spokane

SPOKANE, Wash. — As we roll into a new year and fresh start, celebrations won’t be quite what some were hoping for a few months ago. Still, people are still finding ways to celebrate.

We’ve made great progress in grappling with COVID over the past year, but it will linger into 2022 with us. Despite that, local business owners have found the silver lining, and their focus is on a celebration, however different it may be.

“What we do here is what I’ve done for 40 years. It would be unusual for me to not be open,” Tim O’Doherty, owner of O’Doherty’s Irish Grille, told us.

O’Doherty’s is ready to ring in 2022 with the Spokane community, one way or another.

“It won’t be the raucous New Year’s Eve night we’ve had in the past when we had camp fires, bands and jugglers,” O’Doherty remembers.

The party won’t be in full force, but they’ll still celebrate.

“I think it’s going to be mellower given the virus and the weather,” O’Doherty explained.

The doors are open at his Irish pub till midnight.

“There is a fellowship and a camaraderie that exist in small independent places like this that is very real. If you can share it with some friends, maybe from out of town, that’s a great way to reflect on last year and look forward to next year,” said O’Doherty.

A few blocks up at the Riddler Piano Bar, they’ve already sold out of their 156 pre-sold tickets.

“It’s going to be a packed house for sure,” said Chaz Riddler, Owner of Riddler Piano Bar.

They’ll be making a little extra room for those who show up without tickets.

“Dueling pianos start at 9 and go to 1:30, 1:45. We’ll do a balloon drop at midnight and champagne, just like the traditional NYE celebration,” said Riddler.

For family-friendly events, there’s plenty still happening at Riverfront Park to celebrate the start of 2022.

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