Hattiesburg, Mississippi – On Thursday, December 31, the City of Hattiesburg will host a virtual Hub Sign Drop at hburgnye.com to usher in 2021, in lieu of a public event.
“Since the first case of COVID-19 landed on our doorstep, we have worked deliberately to prioritize public health,” said Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker. “We cannot, in good faith, host an event that will likely bring a large group of people downtown and contribute to the spread. We will continue to act in accordance with the mandates that have been placed on our community, with the hope that we can deter the further growth of positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in our community.”
Midnight on Front Street, the annual dropping of the city’s historic hub sign, began in 2018 and topped out with approximately 8,000 guests during 2019.
The city plans to premier the drop with a program that will go live at hburgnye.com – with a stream to both YouTube and Facebook. It will include a short highlight reel of 2020, which will be followed by remarks from Barker and then the drop.
Barker added, “We are an event-driven city. It’s a key part of our quality of life and is a huge part of what makes Hattiesburg a premier city for entertainment and culture. But, until our hospitals have a proven therapeutic and vaccines are widely available for all, we will continue to make hard decisions for the good of public health. It is our hope that when December 31, 2021 arrives next year, we will be together once again for an even more exciting Midnight on Front Street.”
All local executive orders will be continued through January 16, 2021, to match Governor Tate Reeves’ statewide orders. This includes all local mask mandates, occupancy limits and requirements that bars, restaurants and clubs shall close in-house services by 10 p.m.
Bars and restaurants can continue to sell items via to-go and delivery after 10 p.m., and alcohol can be sold through 11 p.m., in accordance with state mandates. Guiding documents can be accessed by visiting hattiesburgms.com/coronavirus.