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Thursday, January 1, 2015
Lock 34 was crowded, as always, as Lockportians rang in the new year. (PHOTOS BY HEATHER N. GRIMMER / ENP PHOTOGRAPHER)


A line of champagne awaits Ski Lodge patrons to toast at midnight.
Although Lockport skipped out on the annual ball drop and fireworks to ring in the near year, the downtown area was alive with excitement as area bars were packed with people bringing in 2015.

Lock 34 was packed — both inside and out — with people dressed up to celebrate. Owner Brian Junke was seen rushing around the bar, taking care of patrons enjoying the last night of 2014 and the first morning of 2015.

Likewise, 21st Amendment was crowded with revelers hoping to make one last memory of the closing year and open 2015 in style. The bar was equally crowded ― or maybe moreso — after the traditional 2 a.m. closing time, as it had an all-night liquor license.

21st Amendment owner Jon George takes a picture of patrons at the bar
around 10 p.m.
Owner Jon George said he planned to keep a handle on the situation by not allowing new patrons in after the 2 a.m. closing time, except for a select few who were lucky enough to receive printed invitations, which mostly went to people in the bar industry who would be stuck at their own establishments until after their closing time.

George was seen making pizzas as late as 3 a.m.

Across the street at Fitzgerald's, a more tame crowd was taking in the new year in style with owner Darrin Chiappone, still smarting from a car accident earlier in the week, seen relaxing at the bar talking with customers.

The 21st Amendment from George's point of view. (PHOTO
The Niagara Hotel was overflowing with people just before the midnight hour, while over at the Ski Lodge on Niagara Street, bartenders were readying glasses of champagne for the big moment.

In Lowertown, at the Pleasant Valley Tavern, manager Simon Chavers was wearing a party hat while tending to a packed bar, which only got more and more crowded as closing time approached.

It would seem that Lockportians found something to do without the ball drop. And business owners cashed in at the same time.

Afterhours at the 21st was even busier than the hours leading up to midnight.

There's more photos from New Year's Eve in Lockport here.

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