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Shell Factory tells 2020 ‘You’re outta here’

By CHUCK BALLARO - | Jan 6, 2021

Dolly and Bill Wilson dance the rest of 2020 away at the “Good Riddance to 2020” party at the Shell Factory on Thursday. CHUCK BALLARO


For many, 2020 was a year they would like to forget. So, it was only appropriate to give such a year the sendoff it deserved.

The Shell Factory marked the end of the year with a “Good Riddance to 2020” party outside what will soon be Tommy’s Tiki Bar, where more than 100 people counted down the final hours of the year – at least until 8 or 9 p.m.

Anne Sheridan said the New Year’s Eve bash was for those who don’t typically celebrate the evening and who wanted to be home early.

She also had to admit that 2020 was a horrible year, but she has, to quote The Who from the rock opera “Tommy,” got a feeling 21 is gonna be a good year.”

“It changed everything in the business. We lost a season, but now it’s over and we’re moving forward and we’ll do better next year. What else can you do,” Sheridan said. “We survived, so let’s keep surviving.”

As for those who came to party, 2020 was a mixed bag. Karen Kaufman said 2020 was a tough year.

“I was lucky not to lose anybody, but it was scary. I haven’t been able to see my parents as much. My dad is frail and terrified to go out,” Kaufman said. “Our holidays have been different. I’m very upbeat about 2021.”

Her boyfriend, Dan Morrison, said personally, 2020 treated him very well.

“This year was awesome. It didn’t change my life at all. I met Karen and I’m living the dream in Florida,” said Morrison, who has lived in Florida less than two years.

Lindsy Burris, who works at the Southern Grill, said her 2020 was horrible as she lost her job and her home after she wrestled to get unemployment benefits.

“I was working at Ruby Tuesday’s. When COVID happened, they shut down for good. I was off work for three or four months and it took two months to get anything from unemployment,” Burris said. “I started working here. It’s awesome. Hopefully, 2021 is better, we can take off the masks and go back to living normal.”

Cindy O’Brien is from Albany, N.Y. and came to Florida to visit her mother for the holidays. She said 2020 was also similar to a sad country song.

“I lost my brother and grandfather (not COVID-related) and it was difficult because we weren’t allowed to be near my brother while in the hospital, so he had to die alone,” O’Brien said. “I just hope next year is a better year for everybody.”