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New hope for celebrations in 2021

Newswatch 16's Elizabeth Worthington talked with folks who run a wedding venue in Lackawanna County after some pandemic restrictions were eased by the state.

GLENBURN, Pa. — Staff at Constantino's Catering & Events near Clarks Summit are looking forward to seeing their rooms full of life again.

Owner Larry Nicolais says after hundreds of weddings and events were canceled or postponed last year, he has more business on the books for 2021 than any other previous year.

"The sun's shining, spring's coming soon, and we're ready to open back up and be back in business and allow people to celebrate safely," Nicolais said.

It seems like the state is ready to allow that as well.

The governor's office increased the number of people allowed at events up to 20% occupancy for outdoor events and up to 15% occupancy for indoor events.

RELATED: State easing some pandemic restrictions

"That gives us 25 more people, so indoor ballroom, we're at 75 guests, but with our outdoor space, our patio space, our tented reception space, we're going to be able to do upwards of 200 people for this wedding season."

It's a relatively small increase, but for venues that have seen on and off restrictions for almost a year, it's better than nothing.

"It's a signal to the market, we're moving in the right direction, and we are going to reopen for this year's season. So I think any percentage increase today, any good news out of Harrisburg is welcomed with us for sure," Nicolais said.

Between the easing of restrictions and the vaccine rollout, the owner of Constantino's is hopeful that this wedding season, there will be a lot to celebrate.

"With the vaccine being out, all of our customers are talking about how their family, their friends, and themselves are going to get vaccinated before their wedding and how that really gives them the ability to celebrate this year," Nicolais added. "And that's the key we didn't have that in 2020."