Virtual parties, protests, and empty streets make up New Year's Eve in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- As darkness fell over the Bay on New Year's Eve, there were no fireworks, no crowds but many in San Francisco found ways to ring in the new year in their own ways.

One included a bootlegging hotsy-totsy virtual party broadcast from a fancy basement theater in North Beach.

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"We're completely virtual tonight," said Nick Olivero of The Speakeasy in San Francisco. Meaning the magician who does card tricks is streaming, the dancer is streaming, all the rest are streaming.

"We've got bands, and magicians, drag queens and fortune tellers," says Olivero whose theater partnered with Truffle Shuffle SF.

But hit the streets of San Francisco and it's a different story.

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"Slow and not a lot of people," said Kevin Hernandez of Sacramento.

"I honestly think it's a nice closure to 2020 because it's been a bit chaotic," said another woman.

But not everyone is happy. Promoters and those who run The Midway SF protested the current stay at home orders this New Year's Eve outside of San Francisco City Hall.

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"The ban on outdoor dining is just misguided and it's hurting so many businesses that are hanging on by a shoestring," says promoter Syd Gris.

"What the hell did the state do to increase ICU capacity? Feels like they did a whole lot of nothing," said Pete Glikshtern of The Midway SF.

Certainly an emotional night for everyone. On the lonely streets of San Francisco, outside City Hall, and in the virtual party it's been quite the New Year's Eve.

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