Barrie businesses gear up to ring in the new year - 2022 Here we Come!


The skating rink outside Barrie city hall was busy on Thursday as people prepared for New Year's Eve.

"We were supposed to go the Barrie Colts hockey game for New Year's Eve, but it got postponed, other than we're just going to have dinner at home," says Cory Stewart, who was skating on the ice with his family.

Thursday morning, City crews started assembling fencing around the rink in anticipation of Friday's New Year's celebration. The City of Barrie confirmed on Thursday that a scaled-down event will continue despite the rise in COVID numbers.


The city says there will be skating, a DJ and fireworks over Kempenfelt Bay at 9 p.m. This year, Barrie also has events at other locations.

"We are hosting registered events at East Bayfield Community Centre and Holly Community Centre by the hour," says Steve Lee Young with the City of Barrie. Those interested can pre-register or enroll online.

New capacity limits and restrictions have forced many bars and restaurants to make some last-minute changes to what is typically the busiest night of the year.

The Crazy Fox Bistro, for example will be open for dinner but only until 10 p.m., and everyone must be out by 11 p.m.

 "We're at 50 per cent capacity, so we're trying to push the takeouts especially early between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. and then try and be full at 50 per cent capacity after that," says David Ronald, owner of The Crazy Fox Bistro.

Chris Gerard, owner of the Queens Sports Bar and Nightclub, spent the day blowing up balloons for his scaled-down celebration. He will have table seating, with music but no dancing. "We're going to try and pull off a New Year's party, so we will treat 10 p.m. like midnight. We've changed all our clocks ahead, so we'll have a fake count down," Gerard says.

With many preparing for a night in, restaurants are getting ready for what could be a record-breaking night.

Chef Chan restaurant in Barrie started taking take-out orders for New Year's as early as Monday. The owners anticipate they could serve as many as 1000 take-out orders Friday night.

Owner Suling Liu says, "It's super busy, super crazy. We are fully booked for 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. We are only available after 7 p.m. and before 4 p.m. so you see how busy? Crazy busy."

Lou says it will be all hands on deck with all of her staff to handle the busy night.



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