Drive-in New Year’s Eve: Celebrating safely in downtown Anchorage

Published: Dec. 30, 2020 at 4:22 PM AKST|Updated: Dec. 31, 2020 at 7:32 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The end of 2020 is going to be celebrated the same way most things throughout this terrible year have been; differently. While it won’t be a time where crowds gather, it’s still going to be a pretty fun night, according to Amanda Moser with the Anchorage Downtown Partnership.

The biggest thing to keep in mind if you’re looking to part-take in downtown festivities is that everything this year has been designed to be enjoyed in your car. The event officially starts at 6:30 p.m. and ends at 9 p.m.

There will still be music, food, and most importantly for this holiday, fireworks. All these are being delivered differently. Moser said the event is free to attend and the downtown parking garages will be open for people to park and watch the fireworks.

A view from the JC Penny parking garage in Downtown Anchorage. One of the recommended spots for...
A view from the JC Penny parking garage in Downtown Anchorage. One of the recommended spots for watching the fireworks this year. Make sure to look North.(Taylor Clark)

This NYE, Moser said the music and fireworks are going to work hand-in-hand.

“We’ve been talking to our pyrotechnician about if we could sync the fireworks to music and found out that we could,” she said, “and we thought that would be a really fun way to encourage folks to stay in their cars.”

The firework show goes from 8:30 p.m. to 8:40 p.m. For those without a car, Moser said there is good visibility along parts of the Coastal Trail. 49th State Brewing Company is also opening up its rooftop and patio areas to watch, but space will be limited.

Moser said the best way to enjoy the fireworks is by listening to the synchronized music on KONR 106.1. There will also be a band, H3, and a DJ, GRE, playing live on the radio station. Their performances will also be streamed on Facebook.

Instead of the regular food truck vendors, Moser said they’re doing the food differently this year too.

“We’ve been working with our downtown restaurants this year and asked them to do to-go specials on food that’s easy to eat in their cars. So you’ll see a lot of burger specials and pizza specials and encouraging folks to come downtown, grab food from a restaurant to-go, and then enjoy dinner and a show in their car,” she said.

Moser said they encourage people to stay in their cars while they ring in the New Year, but if folks start to mingle they are asked to wear a mask and practice social distancing.

For those who would rather celebrate at home, the music and fireworks will all be live-streamed on Facebook. Keep in mind that many local restaurants are doing delivery now too!

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