Boston cracking down on New Year’s Eve parties

WEST ROXBURY, Mass. — 21-year-old Brooke McCann sympathizes with young people who are frustrated but begrudgingly laying low this New Year’s Eve.

“I don’t know, I feel so bad for kids our age that want to go out and we can’t really do much,” McCann said.

McCann was entering Blanchard’s Wine & Spirits on Centre Street, a popular spot in the final hours of 2020.

“There will be times we’ll occasionally break the [gathering restrictions],” admitted 19-year-old Sebastian Pignole of Walpole.

But this time, Pignole said he was avoiding large crowds on New Year’s.

“You know, just hang out with a few of my friends, nothing crazy, unfortunately,” Pignone said.

Boston city officials fear some New Year’s celebrations will still get “crazy,” despite weeks of warnings and new restrictions.

During a news conference Wednesday, Mayor Marty Walsh and Police Commissioner William Gross pleaded with people to stay home this week.

“If you’re thinking about having a party or attending one, I’m asking you to rethink those plans,” Walsh said.

Gross said all 11 police districts in Boston would be fully staffed Thursday night.

“We anticipate there could be wild parties and unruly parties, even though we don’t want any of that,” Gross said.

Massachusetts health leaders were so concerned about parties and large gatherings, they sent out a recorded warning in English and Spanish to cell phones across the state.

“Resolve not to be a super spreader this New Year’s Eve. Don’t go out an party. Stay home,” the recording said.

“I don’t think it’s a criminal offense. It’s just stupidity,” said West Roxbury resident Jacque Furtado.

Furtado believes the only way to stop the spread is for people to hunker down and stop traveling around so much.

“We’re never going to get back to normal if people just continue to not follow what we should be doing,” Furtado said.