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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

Beale Street will be empty tonight, but at least 2020 will be behind us

It's New Year's Eve, but no one will be out downtown to celebrate because of COVID and rain.


It’s tradition. Crowds gather for the New Year and the tinkling of glasses can be heard from everywhere. 

But the pandemic has changed that. No crowds. No big celebrations. 

And if there’s tinkling it will be none of our business. 

Kevin Kane, the boss over at Memphis Tourism, says this is the perfect year for bad weather. 

“I think with the closings at 10 o’clock,” he says, “...and with most of our attractions shut down...Beale Street has to close at 10. So, you know, this is going to be a New Year's Eve we will be happy to forget.” 

There doesn’t seem to be even a nugget of good news in all of this. Kane says “What’s going on in Memphis is going on in every city and every state around the country. And every major city around the world. We are not alone. Everyone is going through the same thing.” 

Kane says this city is ready to hit the ground running for tourism. The Renasant Convention Center is ready to go. It may not be the biggest convention center in the statebut it’s perfect for medium sized events. 

The city is already promoting itself. 

“We are promoting Memphis in a six-hundred-mile radius of the region,” says Kane. “We’re watching January to see what will be open and what’s going to be closed. Obviously, we’re not going to be pushing the month of January too much. With the surge and all...there won’t be much for people to do if they come here.”