New Year’s Eve bash at Mississauga’s Celebration Square up in the air

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Published November 1, 2021 at 8:57 am

Mississauga residents hoping to ring in the new year at Celebration Square shouldn’t make firm plans just yet.  

Although the Ontario government announced late last week it’s now allowing large-scale organized events outdoors, opening the door for seasonal mainstays across the province such as Santa Claus parades, New Year’s Eve parties and other celebratory gatherings, City of Mississauga officials aren’t committing just yet to those big-ticket events. 

But they are working on it, they say, promising more information will soon come. 

Mayor Bonnie Crombie said the City is looking at when large community events can once again be held as municipalities across Ontario emerge from more than a year of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. 

“Given large sports venues can (now) have tens of thousands indoors for a game, if things remain stable (with COVID-19 numbers), it’s only right we can once again start coming together to celebrate as a community,” she said. “While I’m not sure we’re quite ready to host thousands of people in the (Celebration) Square for New Year’s Eve, we are working on some fun and safe festivities for the days leading up to New Year’s Eve.” 

Community Services staff at the City said the logistics involved with such large events are significant. 

“Large public events take quite a bit of planning ahead of time. The decision to proceed or not to proceed with large, in-person events was made months ago while the fourth wave (of the pandemic) was still evolving,” staff said in a statement. “We do know how important it is for the residents to get back to normal and with big gatherings now permitted, we are working through details of what we can do with shortened timelines. Information about seasonal events, like New Year’s Eve, will be coming soon.” 

City staff added Mississauga is planning to host an in-person Remembrance Day ceremony, and officials are working on details of that. 

“In regards to other seasonal events, announcements and details will be made in the coming weeks,” the City said.  

The regulatory amendments announced by the provincial government effectively lift capacity limits for all organized public events held outdoors as long as attendees wear masks when a physical distance of two metres cannot be kept. 

The amendments also remove the outdoor capacity limits in the handful of sectors where they had remained. 

That means that ski hills and other outdoor recreational amenities can operate without capacity limits, as can festivals and the outdoor areas of fairs and rural exhibitions. Proof of vaccination will continue to be required in outdoor settings where the capacity is 20,000 or more. 

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