‘Big Lick Downtown Countdown’ kicks off with COVID safety precautions

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) – The “Big Lick Downtown Countdown” was canceled last year due to the pandemic. However, this year the organizers of this big party in downtown Roanoke say they are back and better than ever.

Big Lick Entertainment owner and creative director JD Sutphin says that with the current spike in COVID-19 cases, organizers are limiting the number of tickets sold for the event.

Anyone who has purchased VIP rooftop tickets must wear a mask inside, where there will be live music, food and more.

People who have purchased general admission to the outdoor event will be required to socially distance from each other, but masks are not required.

Band performing at the Big Lick Downtown Countdown

Sutphin says the important thing is to ring in the new year safely.

“The first thing is to have that positive mindset to know you’re here for a family event. Don’t drink and drive. Think of all the hotels and Ubers that are in the area. Just do it from the right way,” Sutphin said.

Many people say they are ready to get rid of 2021.

“Well, we came from Charlottesville. We both go to UVA. And so, we spend the night going out on the town. I’m from Ohio, so I’ve never been to Roanoke,” said Patrick Burns, a Big Lick Downtown Countdown attendee.

Other people say they’re thrilled the Big Lick Downtown countdown is back so they can finally share a New Year’s kiss in a public place.


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Susan W. Lloyd