New Years is back on the calendar – Medford News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News


Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune Christian Hamilton cleans the bar Thursday at the Bella Union Restaurant and Saloon in Jacksonville.

Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune Christian Hamilton cleans tables Thursday at the Bella Union Restaurant and Saloon in Jacksonville.

Local New Years Eve events will include champagne, music – but no proof of vaccination, some establishments have said

On the last night of 2020, no one got to watch the big ball drop on TV, listen to live music, or toast to the New Year at the Bella Union Restaurant and Saloon in Jacksonville.

Indeed, the number of cases of COVID-19 prohibited such festivities. But 2021 promises to bring New Year’s joy.

Social media feeds show that many establishments in Rogue Valley are planning their own New Years celebrations, and Bella Union is no exception.

“We feel good that we can do this,” said Christian Hamilton, co-owner of the facility, adding his observation of a “pent-up demand” for a New Year’s celebration.

“I think the Bella Union is known for throwing parties, and that’s something we’ve tried to reintroduce by hosting live music and our oyster and beer event and stuff. So being able to do New Years Eve this year will be great.

Bella Union was one of the few companies the Mail Tribune contacted to inquire about New Years Eve plans, and some said they were experiencing staffing issues and would not be open on December 31.

On the pandemic front, Bella Union and another major business, Callahan’s Mountain Lodge above Ashland, have both said they will not require proof of vaccination on entry. In terms of masking, Bella Union requires her clients to wear masks except when eating, but Callahan appeared less committed in a prepared statement.

“The only mandate we know of is that wearing an interior mask is compulsory. It’s posted at the gates and at various locations around the lodge, ”said Callahan co-owner Mark Cleaner. “However, the county health department explained that Callahan’s Mountain Lodge is not a law enforcement agency. Guests are required to wear a mask as a citizen of Oregon. We are all responsible adults and can determine what is best for ourselves. ”

During the New Year’s festivities, Bella Union will have around 25 active employees, all wearing masks and following public health protocols. Customers must also wear masks, except for eating.

Live music, featuring local band Adam Gabriel and the Cavaliers, will start at 8 p.m. and continue until 1 a.m.

“They are a lot of fun and they play here regularly,” said Hamilton.

Bella Union televisions will be tuned to the bullet drop in Times Square in New York City, which will only include 15,000 masked and vaccinated spectators. Guests at the Bella Union will toast with champagne, party hats and noise makers.

“Historically, by the time midnight rolls around, the restaurant is pretty much quiet and it’s only crowded at the bar after 10 am,” Hamilton said. “It’s just first come, first served at the bar. We do not take any reservations.

Callahan’s will offer a paid deal. The cost is $ 150 per couple or $ 75 for a single adult if they order the three-course meal. Otherwise the fees are $ 50 per couple, $ 30 per adult. The cheapest tickets pay for a party that starts at 9 p.m. and includes a champagne toast.

Jennifer Martinez, the daughter of Mark and Lisa Cleaner, who have owned Callahan’s since fall 2020, said that while last year’s New Years celebration was outdoors and had limited seating, the 2021 event is the first New Year’s “party” at Callahan’s 75-year history.

“It’s because of the new owner,” Martinez said. “My parents … felt like this was something we could offer with a fresh new look. My parents love to host and really wanted to bring that atmosphere to Callahan’s. We hope (the guests) will come to relax and have a good time.

Entertainment will include The Rogue Fire Circus and DJ G_RAD, performing until 1 a.m.

“We’re excited to be working with them, of course,” Martinez said. “I can’t wait to put on a good show, to bring something more. “

As Rogue Valley businesses host events for New Years Eve, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is teaming up with the Medford Police Department to share the message about the dangers of drunk driving.

“The NHTSA and Medford Police want all drivers to remember this life-saving message: drive sober or get pulled over,” a press release said. “To support the law enforcement community’s dedication to protecting the lives of residents in their communities, you’ll see officers working together… to remove impaired drivers from the roads.”

Contact reporter Kevin Opsahl at 541-776-4476 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @KevJourno.

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