DENVER — The Denver metro didn't get the white Christmas it was hoping for, but snow flurries Friday will ring the Mile High City into the New Year.
"This is fantastic. We love it. We needed so much," a Golden resident visiting downtown said.
Hundreds of families made their way to the ice skating ring at the 16th Street Mall throughout the day, enjoying the last day of what has been a long year in Colorado.
"2021 was full of events that a lot of people didn't enjoy," metro resident Brian Eads said.
A mass shooting on Monday and a devastating fire Thursday pushed metro communities to their limit in the last week of 2021.
The annual fireworks show in downtown were still apparent despite Thursday's fire.
"Our hearts go out to those in Louisville and Superior in the whole Boulder County. It's absolutely devastating. Our firework shows are safe and there's no fallout. There from buildings," said Sharon Alton, Downtown Experience senior vice president.
The omicron coronavirus variant will also be popping off into the New Year, accounting for more than 90% of cases in Colorado. More than 10,000 COVID-19 cases were reported in Colorado Friday.
But, that didn't stop thousands from attending concerts and parties across the metro, including Decadence at the Downtown Convention Center, an event that advertises as the largest New Year's Eve dance celebration. Vaccinations or a negative test are required for entry.
"Some people are still going to be worried," said Ryan Settner, a Decadence attendee. "But, I mean, it's out there. Just got to learn to live with it."
Still, in the midst of a pandemic, 2022 may have its own unique challenges. Eads hopes they won't be like the last few years.
"2022 has to be better. It's just been a really rough year for a lot of America," Eads said. "Hopefully, the world becomes a better place."