BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) – For the first time since 2019, fireworks will light up the sky in Fairhope to celebrate the new year.

“Everything that we have had so far this year has been I feel like bigger and better. Everybody’s kind of excited to get back out and of course with this being an outdoor event people obviously feel safer coming out,” said Paige Crawford with the City of Fairhope.

Even with the Omicron variant on their minds, city officials say the New Year’s Eve event on Friday can still go on safely. They’re urging visitors to use good judgment as COVID-19 cases ramp back up.

“If you’re not feeling well maybe stay home. If you would feel more comfortable masking up, obviously mask up. We’ll have handwashing stations and that sort of thing out and about, but with a large footprint and it being outdoors everybody who is wanting to come to the event we’re welcoming,” added Crawford. 

Baldwin County, like most Alabama counties, remains in the ‘high’ risk category for COVID-19 community transmission according to the Alabama Department of Public Health Wednesday.

In south Baldwin County, OWA is moving forward with its New Year’s Eve plans, too. This year they’ll spread out the events with a kids street party at 2 p.m. and live music beginning at 5 p.m. The fireworks show gets underway at 8:50 p.m. Friday night. The Wharf in Orange Beach is Reelin’ in the new year with live music Friday, with the Marlin dropping at midnight accompanied by a fireworks show. Both of these events will allow for extra space to spread out, according to organizers.

Back on the Eastern Shore Fairhope Police are gearing up for a busy night, reminding everyone to play it safe.

“There will be extra patrols out. There will be extra officers out,” said Lt. Shane Nolte with the Fairhope Police Department.

Officials say there are no state mandates calling for masks this week, so right now it’s up to visitors to decide how they’ll safely plan to ring in the new year.