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New Yorkers are ready to burn their pandemic blues away.
A “mask-burning ceremony” will be held in Manhattan and Southampton Thursday afternoon to celebrate relaxed guidelines that’ll no longer require face coverings in most indoor settings.
“We’ll be able to get out of our zombie uniforms,” said Zach Erdem, who’ll be hosting one of the ceremonies at his Southampton seafood eatery Blu Mar.
“Our freedom is back, and we’re just going to be normal human beings now. Of course if you want to have your mask, you’re welcome to have your mask but we won’t require it.”
On Wednesday, much of New York reopened following more than a year of stringent lockdowns and restrictions, paving the way for an electric summer free of pesky face coverings that have shrouded mugs in all five boroughs ever since they became mandatory last spring.
The mask-burning event will bring together vaccinated New Yorkers at Blu Mar and Midtown’s Empire Steakhouse and invite them to incinerate their masks and celebrate the beginning of the end of the pandemic.
“Each person who will be attending will be taking their masks and throwing them into the inferno we create,” said Curtis Sliwa, the president of the Guardian Angels and a Republican candidate for mayor who is hosting the events.
“We’ve been on such a downer for a year and a half, we just felt that we needed to raise everyone’s mood as we approach Memorial Day weekend … it’s all about reopening New York City.”
Sliwa, who called the event “mask liberation day” and said it will be like the “mask equinox, similar to the spring equinox,” said the disco group The Tramps will be at Empire Grill playing “Disco Inferno” as the face coverings go up in smoke.
“It’s all about the liberation of the restaurants and the bars and now we want nightlife, that’s why we have The Tramps, now we have to get nightlife back because that’s what makes New York City so unique,” Sliwa explained.
“This is that first step to returning us to the city that never sleeps.”
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