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Friday, January 1, 2016
The Niagara Hotel was still hopping after the ball dropped on 2016. (PHOTOS BY SCOTT LEFFLER / ENP STAFF)

By +Scott Leffler

Claire Horton, left, and Andrea Trautman enjoy New Years at Lock 34. The
pair each work at local bars but found themselves off for the evening to enjoy
the festivities.
East Niagara bars and eateries rang in the new year with large crowds again Thursday night and this morning. Downtown was packed with people, many of whom made their way from establishment to establishment wishing "Happy New Year" to friends and random strangers.

Lockport's newest bar, the Penalty Box, was filled with happy patrons at midnight. It was also busy earlier in the evening, according to owner Jon George.  Lock 34 was packed as always shortly after midnight. It was truly standing room only. The Niagara Hotel had the same good fortune with people lined up along the bar and standing two-deep drinking and catching up with friends.

Penalty Box owner Jon George, center, enjoys conversation
with patrons of the bar shortly after midnight.
The Ski Lodge on Trowbridge Street put out a spread for those ringing in the new year there, as well as music for attendees. Whether it was the food, the music or the decent weather, the bar was still full long after midnight. The Pleasant Valley Tavern offered live music heading up to midnight and was still quite full shortly before 2 a.m.

Gonzo's on Main Street had the all-night liquor license this year and was so full at 2:30 a.m. that a line of thirsty patrons had to wait for people to leave before they were allowed entry into the bar. Around 3:30 a.m., the line had cleared up, but the bar was still full of people ringing in 2016 with a pint and friends.

Earlier in the evening, Cornerstone CFCU Arena offered a public skating session from 8 - 10 p.m.

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

Patrons were shoulder-to-shoulder at Gonzos after 2 a.m. The Main Street bar had an all-night license. 

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