Every year since the ritual started in 1907, revelers have flocked to Times Square to ring in the new year. But like most events since the pandemic hit, the usually busy party will go on without a bustling crowd for the first time in its history.
This year, people will have to watch the ball drop from their living rooms rather than shoulder-to-shoulder at the crossroads of the world.
The Times Square Alliance, which hosts the annual party, says viewers will be able to interact with the festivities from home by submitting their wishes on the virtual wishing wall and switching cameras to see celebrations in other parts of the world.
“One thing that will never change is the ticking of time and the arrival of a New Year at midnight on December 31st,” Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance said in a press release.
The famed Times Square ball has more than 2,600 Waterford Crystals and weighs nearly 12,000 pounds.
As usual, the ball will still be raised at 6 p.m., officially kicking off the night of celebrations. This year, it will be followed by a long list of performers and games to entertain a virtual audience.
A small group will be allowed to watch the live performances in person. Organizers say they pre-selected approximately 40 essential workers and their families to attend, with social distancing measures in place.
The event will recognize the “Heroes of 2020,” the frontline workers who have been fighting to save lives and keep the city and nation running during the pandemic.
The guests of honor include a COVID-19 tester, teacher and grocery store clerk.
There are many ways to join in on the fun, by watching the livestream on TimesSquareNYC.org or logging on to the TimesSquareNYC Facebook and Twitter livestream. Starting at 11 p.m. you should celebrate with NY1, by tuning into our special show, “Countdown to 2021.”