SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — The decision to nix the fireworks display in San Francisco earlier this week was one of several COVID-prompted cancellations that forced people to rework their new year celebration plans at the last minute.
Concerns about the spread of the Omicron variant resulted in canceled events all week. The Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland could not host its annual balloon drop on Friday; the center will close until Jan. 15 to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
“All the plans got canceled and we had two parties that we were invited to — she had two other parties that she got invited to and they all got canceled,” one woman said Friday. “It’s fine. You adapt and make the best out of the situation and celebrate.”
She was shopping with her family for decorations to celebrate New Year’s Eve at her home along at the One Stop Party Shop store.
“At first it was a bit frustrating because I had plans with my friends. You have to adapt — I mean it will be nice, it will be more intimate with family,” another woman said outside the party store.
One Stop Party Shop noticed customers coming in Thursday and Friday as they finalized plans to stay home or keep a low profile while welcoming in 2022. The small store was crowded at times as people waited by the entrance to shop.
“We’re just having a couple friends over tonight, we wanted to make it festive,” a customer said after carrying out a bag of supplies and balloons. “It will be nice to see close friends and everyone can get COVID-tested and stuff pretty easily so yeah, it will be good, it will be a nice way to start the new year.”
The impact of the San Francisco waterfront fireworks show being canceled at the last minute makes it hard for businesses that rely on the spectacle to bring people to the Embarcadero. Some restaurants reported reservations were still full for the night, even though the light show was canceled.
Other shoppers at the party store said they were always planning to stay home and contain their celebration to a small gathering of loved ones.
“It’s always been intimate with my family and I so it’s just kind of like the norm,” Remi Perez.