Ria Mae headlining free online New Year's Eve show in Nova Scotia

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Most of us will be eager to bid a not-so-fond farewell to 2020, but pandemic restrictions mean that celebrations will be limited to virtual events or small gatherings.

The usual New Year's Eve bash at the Grand Parade in downtown Halifax will be replaced by the municipality's first virtual celebration.

The event will be broadcast on Eastlink Community TV and streamed on YouTube from the floor of the Scotiabank Centre.

It will kick off with a dance party at 10:30 p.m. followed by a concert starting at 11 p.m.

There will be a "special extended New Year's countdown" starting at 11:59 p.m.

The headline performer will be Ria Mae, who is back home in Halifax for the holidays.

Viewers can also look forward to performances by JRDN, Jules Bangsworth, Knotez, Leanne Hoffman, Loviet and Owen O Sound Lee.

No change for 95% of audience

Billy Comer, the civic events coordinator for the HRM, said it will be the most advanced stage production in Halifax New Year's Eve history.

"I can promise you that this thing is on a different scale," he said.

"We knew that 95 per cent of our audience every year is actually watching on TV, so for this event to go virtual actually made sense in our event calendar."

The usual festivities in Cape Breton Regional Municipality will also be absent this year.

The waterfront fireworks celebrations have been cancelled as have events at the Big Fiddle and the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre.