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By Felolini Maria Ifopo

APIA, Samoa (December 25, 2000 - Samoa Observer/PINA Nius Online)---If you are thinking of partying in Apia on New Year’s Eve, stay at home because the town won’t be open.

That’s the ruling released by the Liquor Control Board of Samoa. Bars and nightclubs have been ordered to close on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day because December 31 falls on a Sunday this year.

Board member Fuimaono Pou said it was usual practice in Samoa if New Year’s Eve fell on a Sunday, not to allow alcohol to be sold at bars and nightclubs.

The same practice also cancelled out Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for party revelers.

Asked if there were concerns about police trying to control parties staged at private homes, Fuimaono said that was a police issue.

Police Commissioner Asi Blakelock, who is also a board member, was not available for comment.

Eye Spy nightclub owner Jay Schuster said that he had expected the board to rule this way, but thought it would have been more flexible on Saturday, December 30, in view of the fact that bars/nightclubs would not be opening on Sunday.

"All our plans were on hold, but we were looking at celebrating New Year’s Eve with New Zealand and also hooking up with a radio station over there."

The board has kept the usual opening hours over the festive season with the exception of Friday, December 29, which has been extended from midnight to 2:00 a.m. RSA owners were planning to visit the board themselves to see what could be done about the ruling.

Hotels are exempt from the ruling. However both the Kitano Tusitala and Aggie Grey’s have no special plans to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

Outrigger Hotel owner Claus Hermansen said that he planned to do something small for his guests but it would be a private function.

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