WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — Local businesses and event spaces are looking forward to hosting people at full capacity on Friday as they ring in the new year.
“We were closed for a full year, still had to pay rent, still had to maintain the space, it was very hard,” said Chris Cohen, artistic director at ARTC Theater.
Cohen looked at all the empty seats in the community theater in 2020. He watched them slowly start to fill up again in 2021.
Now, they’re ringing in 2022 by giving everyone the chance to get on stage with karaoke.
“A few of our first shows that we first had when we started opening up had maybe 10 people in the seats, which is great, it’s a start, but something like this I think the turnout is going to be massive,” said Cohen.
The ARTC Theater is celebrating with a karaoke party and contest.
They are charging money at the door and taking donations for drinks. Organizers tried to keep it affordable after a tough financial year for everyone, but still hope to make up for some lost revenue.
“We’re surviving and we’re doing the best we can to provide a safe and wonderful space that you can come and have a good time on New Year’s Eve, because I know a lot of places are still shut down,” said Cohen.
Restaurants in the city are calling in extra help and stocking up for the holiday.
“Alcohol we have been having to put in extra orders because there’s big shortages for liquor and we’re stocking up to try and stay ahead,” said Hannah Duncan, manager of Cin Cin.
Duncan tells FOX8 they’re already starting to see some reservations.
Over the past year, their loyal customers are what kept them going.
“We were still busy last year through the pandemic and last year our community really supported us, all of our restaurants have been very busy through it all,” said Duncan.
Cohen says waiting to bring people together again in a theater was awful, but he knows this New Year’s Eve will be worth the wait.
“It’s like you were missing a piece of yourself for such a long period of time and finally, finally you get back, and there’s no feeling like it,” said Cohen.