BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Downtown Buffalo was the center of the Blizzard, but just six days after the storm began, the city is bustling with people ahead of the New Year’s holiday.

“We get pounded. They clean us up. They do a great job. Everybody chips in with everybody and we are back up and running in six days,” Rae Flynn of Blasdell said.

It is a different picture than what was seen earlier this week. Roads and sidewalks downtown are mostly cleared and the travel ban is lifted, meaning the Buffalo Sabres can return to the ice and shows can return to Shea’s Performing Arts Center.

“Buffalo’s the City of Good Neighbors. They come out for everything. Everybody is there for everybody,” Don Kubicki of Buffalo added.

Buffalo is digging itself out of tragedy once again. The ferocious storm left Western New York covered in snow that is taking days to remove. Paula Gedeon didn’t get plowed out fully until Wednesday.

“Our power went out again for the second time on Wednesday, but it came back on, so my brother and sister from out of town and some local family were able to get together and celebrate Christmas at my home on Wednesday,” Gedeon said.

Many residents were not surprised the city was back after such a short pause.

“Six days ago I was stuck in my house with my mom and my sister,” Kelly Carretto of Cheektowaga said. “So now I’m very impressed that downtown has recovered so quickly.”

Shea’s Performing Arts Center hosted “Elf” Thursday night while at the Keybank Center the Buffalo Sabres took on the Detroit Red Wings, the team’s first game since the storm.

Mike McGowan drove to Buffalo from Boston, but it took him three days to get here because of the storm. He was expecting more delays heading to the Sabres game.

“We weren’t sure if there were going to be snow piles in the parking lots. We didn’t have a problem, but from what I’ve seen, we didn’t need to get here two hours early either,” McGowan said.

Some fans even said there weren’t any slow downs due to the storm.

“From where we live it took us about ten minutes, which is normal time. We were pretty good. The streets weren’t that crowded until we turned onto Michigan. Everything else was just fine,” Joe Dygulski of Buffalo said.

Even as fans were ready to cheer on their team and theater goers ready to sit in the seats at Shea’s once again, they were mindful of the dozens of lives lost in Buffalo’s historic blizzard.

“I just want to do a moment for all of the people who didn’t make it through the storm and that’s the saddest thing,” Flynn continued.

The city is in mourning, but beginning to embrace the activities that define it.

“It’s just amazing to be back in Buffalo and no snow can hold us back,” Carretto said.

The cleanup is still underway across the city and a travel advisory remains in place in Erie County. Western New Yorkers say they know other storms will come, but for tonight, they are grateful to be getting back to normal.

Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a reporter in 2022. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, N.Y., a sister station of News 4. You can follow Tara on Facebook and Twitter and find more of her work here.