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Watkins Glen cancels new celebration

WATKINS GLEN---Despite the return of many winter-themed events this year after they were canceled due to COVID-19, the inaugural "Ring in the New Year" in Watkins Glen will not be one of them. Scheduled to take place Dec. 31 with tickets costing $100 per person at the new Event Center in Clute Park, the rapid progression of the Omicron variant of COVID has scuttled those plans.
"We are disappointed by the cancellation of New Years, but understand that due to the uncertainty and health of our guests, that it was prudent to cancel it," said Mayor Luke Leszyk.
Ring in the New Year was set to be another introduction to many residents of Schuyler County and the region to the new event center.
As people have shifted to more indoor events with the beginning of winter, the number of COVID cases in both the Finger Lakes and state have gone up significantly. The Delta variant and now the Omicron variant, have led to record numbers of the virus and a renewed mask mandate by the state.
Watkins Glen successfully hosted the opening of the ice rink, as well as a craft fair at the new location along with the outdoor-based Village Christmas last week. Ice skating is still available at the lakefront rink.
"Our winter season is historically slower but we hope this doesn't impact our businesses that stay open year-round," Leszyk added.
If Omicron does create problems however, Leszyk expressed confidence that the businesses of Watkins Glen are already tried and tested and will be capable of weathering the storm.
"Our businesses are resilient and I'm confident they will do their best to stay open and protect their patrons," said Leszyk.

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