MEMPHIS, Tenn.– The countdown is on for the new year and thousands have gathered on Beale Street to ring in 2022, celebrating another year in the pandemic.
After a year off due to COVID-19, the pulse of the Memphis party scene has returned for New Year’s Eve.
The celebration coming as Shelby County reports a 200% increase in average weekly COVID cases. Although cases are skyrocketing, B.B. King’s Blues Club says they’re expecting a full house.
“Alot of people myself included that isolation was difficult for us mentally and not everybody scared of this,” Nate Illsey who works at BB King’s Blues Club said. “People want to get out and live. We are ringing in the new year baby. Beale Street Baby,”
It’s a sentiment some out of towners like Ben Van Engel looking for a good time agree with.
“Getting my shots and my boosters and stuff like that has allowed me to feel comfortable to go out with my friends again.. and feel comfortable around other people,” Engel said.
Cory Likens, producer and coordinator for some of the New Years Eve events, said it feels good to be back.
“The weather was scary but we wanted to do something for the city,” he said.
Stopping by Beale Street to visit a food truck, Morgan Smith said she’s counting her blessings and will be bringing in the new year crowd free.
“It feels good to be alive. COVID didn’t take me. COVID didn’t take my loved ones this year,” she said.
As the mirror ball drops on 2022, she’s hoping for prosperity and more good times as the pandemic rages on.
“I just hope that we can possibly find a vaccine something that can just rid all of this so we can go back to turning up in the streets. It’s about to get hot again. We’re ready for Beale Street to be hot and ready,” she said.
There will also be a live DJ, ball drop and fireworks at midnight.