If you're one of the tens of thousands planning to watch the ball drop in Times Square this New Year's Eve, NY1 has you covered with these important details about this year's festivities.
If you can't ring in the New Year in the crossroads of the world, we invite you to watch the ball drop LIVE on NY1. Our year-end coverage begins at 11 p.m. on Sunday, December 31.
(Info via Times Square Alliance)
When should I get to Times Square?
At approximately 6:00 p.m. EST, the Times Square New Year's Eve Ball will be raised to the top of the pole at One Times Square (Broadway at 43rd Street). At exactly 11:59 p.m. EST, the Ball will make its 60-second descent down the flagpole to signal the start of the New Year. Please Note: Revelers who arrive very early in the day, before the police have established viewing areas, may be moved by the NYPD when barricades are put in place.
What's the best way to get there?
The best way to come to Times Square is via public transportation. To get to Times Square, the 1, 2, 3, 7, A, B, C, D, E, F, M, N, Q, R, W, and S shuttle trains all service the Times Square area. Note that certain trains do not run on weekends. Please note that the MTA has advised revelers not to use the 42nd Street Subway Station on New Year's Eve due to crowding conditions; you are advised to exit at one of the surrounding stations — 49th Street on the N, Q, and R lines, 50th Street on the C and E lines, and 59th Street-Columbus Circle on the 1, 2, A, B, C, and D lines — and then walk to Times Square on foot. It is expected that the MTA will keep all subway stations open on New Year's Eve. Some entrances and exits may be closed as crowd conditions require. Trains may also bypass some stations, depending on how the crowds build. The most up-to-date transit information is always available by calling the MTA at 511 or visiting www.mta.info. If you want to use Uber or Lyft, however, keep in mind that surge pricing will be in effect that night.
What streets will be closed?
On December 31, the New York Police Department will begin closing down access to Times Square starting at 43rd Street and Broadway, and moving north as revelers arrive. The exact times that these blocks close to pedestrian and vehicular traffic will depend on when people begin arriving. It is likely that there will be no vehicular traffic on either Broadway or Seventh Avenue as of approximately 3:00 p.m. Vehicles will most likely have difficulty traveling across town after 3:00 p.m. or earlier above 42nd Street and as far north as 59th Street. If you are planning to come to Times Square and join in the festivities, you are advised to enter from Sixth or Eighth Avenue. Your chance of getting a viewing spot near the Ball increases the earlier you arrive. The blocks will be closed off as they fill up northward, street-by-street, as the police deem necessary.
Where do I want to be to watch the ball drop?
The earlier you arrive, the better your view and the closer you will be to the action. The sound system is set up in the Bowtie area (where Broadway and Seventh Avenue cross), and the video screens on One Times Square (where the Ball is lowered) are easily visible. Additional screens will be set up throughout the day.
What can't I bring?
At the entry points, and at the spectator viewing areas, each person will be searched with a hand-held wand. Knapsacks, large bags, and umbrellas are not permitted. All bags will be searched. Persons declining search will not be admitted into the area. Champagne and any other type of alcohol are not allowed and will be confiscated by police.
Will there be bathrooms available?
No, there will be no portable restrooms in Times Square during the celebration.
Where can I grab a bite to eat?
There will be no licensed food and beverage vendors in Times Square. However, there are hundreds of restaurants in and around Times Square, such as Bubba Gump Shrimp Company and R Lounge. Be sure to call ahead and check the restaurants' hours to make sure they are operating the night of December 31. Please remember that if you dine at a local restaurant, you will not be able to come out and return to your previous spot to watch the Ball lowering at midnight. Revelers will arrive in Times Square early in the day, and while you are dining, designated viewing areas will fill up on a "first come, first served" basis.
Do you I need tickets to watch the ball drop?
The Annual New Year's Eve celebration is a free event, open to everyone on a first-come, first-serve basis. There are no public viewing spaces available for sale. To get the best view, however, arrive early in the afternoon. Some private parties will be held in many of the restaurants and hotels in Times Square and tickets are required in advance.
What is the history of the ball drop at Times Square?
For 113 years, Times Square has been the center of worldwide attention on New Year's Eve, ever since the owners of One Times Square began in 1904 to conduct rooftop celebrations to greet the New Year. The first Ball Lowering celebration occurred in 1907, and this tradition is now a universal symbol of welcoming the New Year.
For more on the event timeline, visit timessquarenyc.org