For some, New Year's Eve 2020 is an opportunity to put what has been one of the most trying years in decades behind them, and maybe have some fun doing so. For others, however, it comes in the midst of unprecedented surges in COVID-19 cases and related deaths, and is therefore not the time to gather in groups and party, they say.

Wanderlinger Brewing Company co-owner Mike Dial said not only has the restaurant/bar/music and art gallery canceled its New Year's Eve event, it has shut down its Monday Night Blues and Open Mic weekly events, as well.

"After the governor's order, we've postponed any music that we were doing," Dial said. "It didn't seem responsible to do it. It just seemed irresponsible and inappropriate.

"Plus, people are going to want to be near the stage and dance, and it just didn't seem right, or something we wanted to do," he said.

G2G Salsa Chattanooga, a Latin dance school, also has canceled its planned event, announcing on its Facebook page that, "When we planned this event in November, we were feeling optimistic about throwing a NYE party for the local dance community. We felt we could implement extra precautions for the event to keep it safe and enjoyable for all who attended. Over the last week, we have been closely monitoring the rising numbers of COVID cases in Hamilton County. We were faced with a difficult decision to cancel the event or drastically reduce the tickets available.

"As you may know, the Governor of Tennessee has just imposed a social gathering limit of no more than 10 people at indoor events. Essentially, this mandate has made the decision for us and we will officially be canceling the event. For those who have already purchased tickets, we will be issuing refunds over the next few days (please allow 7-10 business days for the refund be processed). We appreciate all of your support and look forward to dancing with all of you in 2021. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!"

But that doesn't mean other restaurants, bars, clubs or venues are canceling their events celebrating the transition into 2021, they're just planning with extra precautions and for smaller crowds. Patricia Gaddis, owner of Trish's Sports Bar, said they will have live music from Up the Dose and dancing, but added, "Please remind people they have to wear a mask to get in."

The Southern Belle will have both an afternoon sit-down meal/cruise and a later one "with 25% capacity," according to general manager Jon Reinhert.

Comedy Catch co-owner Michael Alfano is also presenting two shows at the Chattanooga Choo Choo complex, but said he is foregoing the usual after-party with "no dancing or partying."

"We will seat 100 people instead of the usual 230," he said. He added that ticket sales had slowed after the governor's announcement.

"And, for the first time, we are selling more to the first show than the last one. I think the order scared people," Alfano said.

He said earlier that he was also monitoring Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond's reaction to Gov. Bill Lee's announcement about gatherings of people. Hammond said in a statement that he supports the action but declined to give further details, such as how strictly he would enforce the limited-gathering directive.

"I think a lot of us [owners] are wondering how strictly it will be enforced," Alfano said.

Kacey Swindell, director of sales at the Moxy Hotel, said she was in contact with people at her corporate office discussing their plans for New Year's Eve.

A final decision might not be made until Monday, she said.

Contact Barry Courter at

New Year's Eve Events

* Bar Watson - Casino Party, 6925 Shallowford Road, Suite 202: Live music with Zech Dallas in the Great Scottland Yard. DJ O in the Main Room Reservations include the cover charge and champagne. $25 Couples and $15 for singles.

* Buds Sports Bar - New Year's Eve Party, 5751 Brainerd Road: Live music with Voodoo Slim. 9 p.m.

* Charlie's Restaurant & Lounge - New Years Eve Party, 8504 Dayton Pike, Soddy-Daisy. Live music with the PBR Band. $20 Cover. Band starts at 9:30 p.m.

* The Comedy Catch - New Year's Eve Comedy with Mutzie, 1400 Market St. 7:30 and 10 p.m. shows.

* Crescent City Tavern - 324 South Depot St. Dalton, Georgia. Live music with Kapo. $35 per couple, $25 single.

* Moxy Hotel - New Year's Eve Party, Downtown Chattanooga, 1220 King St. Moxy fun and games. Photo booth. Masks are required for attendance. Must be 21+ to enter. 6 p.m. $20 cover charge.

* Chattanooga Cigar Club - New Year's Eve 2020, 1518 Market St. Frank Bumpass Jazz from 9-11 pm DJ Mixx after Free Champagne Toast & Party Favors. Tickets Start at $25.

* Dirty City Barbershop The Grooming Lounge - New Year's Eve at The Grooming Lounge, 1817 Broad St. BYOB party will have live music from 8 p.m.- midnight and a champagne toast. Mixers available. $30-$40.

* G2G Salsa Chattanooga - NYE Dance Extravaganza - Canceled.

* Hamilton Skate Place - New Year's Eve Late Skate, 7414 Goodwin Road. $15 cover includes skates and unlimited pizza and drinks till 9:00 p.m. $15.. 7-1 a.m.

* Mayo's Bar and Grille - New Year's Eve Party, 3820 Brainerd Road. Live music from Roger Alan Wade! Plus party favors, champagne toasts and blind draw. All starts at 8 p.m. $10 Cover Charge.

* Music Box Ziggy's Chattanooga, Voltz Productions Presents: 2020 Re: Genesis, 607 Cherokee Blvd. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Ages 21 and up.$5 cover.

* Puckett's Chattanooga - New Year's Eve, live music from 10 p.m.-midnight. $25 per person cover charge includes party favors and a champagne toast, plus order dinner from the menu.

* The Read House - New Year's Mask-erade Party, Limited to 50 couples and includes overnight accommodations and dinner starting at 8 p.m. with a three-course dinner for two followed by a New Year's Eve celebration. Must be 21. $550-$630.

* The Signal - Canceled.

* SkyZoo Chattanooga - New Year's Eve Party, 5709 Lee Highway. Live Music with Chase Baker. No Cover. 8 p.m.

* Southern Belle Riverboat - New Year's Eve on the River. An Early Bird New Year's Eve Dinner Cruise will start at 4 p.m. $51.95 adult, $24.95 3-12. Dinner cruise boards at 8:30 for a 9 p.m. departure, followed by cruising for three hours. Includes DJ, pilothouse tours, party favors, a souvenir wine glass, bottle of champagne and buffet-style dinner. 21 and up only. $129.

* Southside Social - New Year's Eve Party, 151 Riverfront Parkway. DJ Tony Dub. 21+. Doors open at 8:00 pm All guests will be required to wear masks during this event unless they are seated at a table or actively eating/drinking. Champagne toast, giveaways, drink specials. 8 p.m. $10.

* Sweet Melissa's Billiards - Karaoke with Choo Choo Entertainment. 1966 Northpointe Blvd. Suite 126. $100 to the Best Dressed Couple and $50 to the Best Dressed. Party favors, champagne toast and drink specials. Surf and turf dinner special No cover. 8 p.m.

* Trish's Sports Bar - New Year's Bash, 4762 Highway 58, suite 116. Live music with Up The Dose. 8 p.m. $5 cover at the door.

* Wanderlinger Brewing Company - Canceled.

Source: Individual venues