NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Nashville is expecting thousands of people to show up to its first New Year’s Eve celebration since the onset of the pandemic.

It will also be a big night for bars and restaurants near Bicentennial Mall, where the event will be held.

“You kind of just get into autopilot and just…you’re in the zone,” said Tana Whited, server for Jonathan’s Grille.

The downtown bar will be open until 2 a.m. which means full staff and protocols to ring in the new year.

“Tonight, we’ve got all hands on deck,” said Whited. “Five people working in the main dining room, two in cocktails, two behind the bar and three on the rooftop.”

The restaurant has a close relationship with law enforcement and makes sure their customers have a good time, yet drink responsibly.

“We encourage everyone to get a ride home; don’t drive,” said Whited. “My worry is getting home safe, me getting home safe, my family getting home safe.”

Metro Police will have more than 400 officers working extra-duty assignments downtown, at Bicentennial Mall, in the Gulch and Demonbreun Street. The department is reminding people who attend New Year’s Eve celebrations to report any suspicious activity they may see.

“You never know what people’s intentions are,” said Kalei Lovasco, who is visiting Nashville from Orlando. “It’s comforting to know that they will be there.”

There are a list of items prohibited from tonight’s event. Click here for the list and other FAQ’s.