By Kristina Rex

BOSTON (CBS) – The familiar sounds of a band on the stage, a parade through Boylston Street, and cheers ringing in the New Year were missing as we head into 2021.

First Night was instead a virtual celebration, with live-streamed performances by bands and other entertainment, as the city encouraged people to stay home.

“No band, no ice sculptures, no people. It’s sad,” one Beverly woman said as she walked through Copley Square Thursday night.

“People should only celebrate with people they know – with people they live with,” Mayor Walsh said in a press conference Wednesday.

It’s undoubtedly a New Year’s unlike any other, with many people opting to spend it on the couch at home, social distancing from others amid the coronavirus pandemic. The line at the Kowloon in Saugus confirmed those plans — packed, with people picking up takeout Chinese food orders for the holiday.

Other businesses are finding creative ways to get customers inside. At La Morra Italian restaurant in Brookline, a fancy multiple course meal is served in two seatings with a champagne toast.

The restaurant is “ringing in 2021” at 20:20, or 8:20 PM, since it must close its doors at 9:30 to comply with state curfew guidelines.

“It’s been a very challenging year but I think we’ve all been resilient and imaginative in a challenging time,” said Bernie Keaveney, the beverage and wine director.

Keaveney said she and her colleagues are hopeful for the upcoming year, and the promise the vaccine brings to reopening the restaurant business to its once thriving capacity.

Kristina Rex