Listen to Austin 360 Radio

Austin's city New Year's celebration to skip live music for 'fireworks from afar'

Austin's New Year's Eve community celebration with live music and family activities at Vic Matthias shores is on hold for the second year in a row due to the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic.  

Instead, city officials invite Austinites to enjoy "fireworks from afar."

We followed up with the city about what "from afar" means: The city center park will not be barricaded, but to discourage crowds from gathering, there will be no food vendors, music or other activities.   

Happy New Year:Ring in 2022 in Austin with boot scootin', soul crooning or rock & roll

“In years past, Austin’s New Year has been a family-friendly event with entertainment and activities for kids of all ages. With the vaccine only recently becoming available for children, we are choosing to remain diligent in our efforts to minimize the spread of COVID, while also wishing everyone lots of light and hope for 2022,” City Manager Spencer Cronk said in a news release about the event. 

People take photos of a fireworks show during Austin's New Year's Celebration on Dec. 31, 2019.

Austin is currently in Stage 3 of the city's COVID-19 risk-based guidelines. According to the city release, COVID-19 cases are on the rise locally and city officials are concerned about “substantial rates of virus spread."

More:Austin holiday gift guide 2021: Shop local with these 9 finds

“Many local events and venues are offering opportunities to ring in the New Year. We encourage everyone to celebrate safely and enjoy the fireworks show from a safe distance,” Cronk said.

"We are asking people to gather as they feel most safe," Sara Henry, public information & marketing program manager for the Austin Center for Events said on Friday. "There are many vantage points citywide to see the downtown area and fireworks, be that a local business, patio area or similar. The City encourages everyone to have a safe New Year’s celebration and help support the many local businesses where the show can be seen, while considering COVID safety."

Henry said the decision not to host public activities was made in coordination with Austin Public Health. 

The fireworks display will begin at 10 p.m. December 31at Vic Mathias Shores. 

The display will stream simultaneously on ATXN, the city's government access channel. You can access the stream online at ATXN.com, or on the following television channels: 

Spectrum Cable: Channel 6 

Grande Communications: Channel 6  

AT&T U-Verse: Channel 99