A Safe Sayonara to 2020

We get it. After celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas or Kwanzaa under the veil of the coronavirus, you may be tempted to ignore New Year’s Eve altogether. But we submit that the end of this crazy, stressful and sometimes terrifying year is worth marking. This is why THE BLOCKS, The Downtown Alliance and The Gateway have teamed up to offer a virtual presentation of Last Hurrah.   

The online celebration gets started at 11 p.m. on December 31st with a free live stream performance by the Cool featuring Bri Ray. This Salt Lake City-based vintage-soul, Motown band was founded and is led by Joshy Soul (Joshua Strauther). With influences including Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Ray Charles and John Legend, the Cool delivers a big yet smooth soulful sound that’s sure to get you on your feet to dance. Orem native, singer, songwriter, former American Idol contestant and one of the founders of Project Black Girl, Bri Ray, will bring her inimitable mix of alternative R&B, Soul and Pop to the performance. Then, as the end of the year nears, the countdown clock will begin culminating in a fireworks show over The Gateway at midnight. 

A few of the other locally based virtual performances you can tune into on New Year’s Eve prior to Last Hurrah include:

For those who can’t imagine staying in on New Year’s Eve, downtown Salt Lake offers a few ways for ushering in 2021 in a relatively safe and socially distanced way. You can wander amid hundreds of lit evergreen trees at The Gallivan Center where a pair of Burning Man art pieces—Koro Loco and the Purr Pods—are currently on display. Most of downtown’s fantastic restaurants are open for in-person dining, take-out and curbside pick-up. (Note: the 10 p.m. curfew imposed on bars and restaurants due to COVID-19 back in November has, just in time for New Year’s Eve, been lifted.) When you go, don’t forget to look up at the stroke of midnight: the Last Hurrah midnight fireworks display at The Gateway will be visible through most of downtown core.

From all of us at THE BLOCKS, we hope you all have a safe and healthy New Year’s Eve, celebrated with optimism and hope for 2021. Happy New Year! 

Written by Melissa Fields