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COVID: Charles Schulz Museum Cancels New Year's Eve Balloon Drop Over Omicron Concerns

SANTA ROSA (BCN) – New Year's Eve options for Bay Area celebrants continue to dwindle as yet another event has been called off due to concerns about the omicron variant of COVID-19.

To comply with recommendations from the Sonoma County Department of Health Services and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center announced it's canceling its annual New Year's Eve event, including multiple balloon drops and appearances by Snoopy.

Held annually since 2005, "Happy New Year, Charlie Brown!" has become the museum's largest event, with visitors gathering for a countdown and to watch 4,000 biodegradable balloons drop from the ceiling.

Last year's event was online, but the hope was to gather in person this year, said museum director Gina Huntsinger. The museum had planned to reduce capacity for the event, but in light of how contagious the omicron variant is, especially at large public gatherings, it seemed smarter to cancel it.

"The safety of our visitors is first and foremost, and we want to help prevent the spread of this new variant in our community," Huntsinger said.

The museum will remain open Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. People can visit for the most current information about hours and COVID-19 safety policies.

Visitors who purchased advance tickets for the New Year's Eve event will receive a full refund. For questions, contact the museum at (707) 579-4452.

© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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