Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration to be ‘virtually enhanced,’ organizers say

Thousands Gather In New York's Times Square To Usher In A New Decade

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 1: Revelers at Times Square during the New Year’s celebration on January 1, 2020 in New York City. People began celebrating New Year’s Eve at Times Square in 1904, in 1907 the New Year’s Eve Ball made its first descent from the flagpole at One Times Square. (Photo by David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

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MANHATTAN — As the holiday season approaches, organizers for the Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration said this year’s festivities will be “virtually enhanced” and very different.

This year, the celebration will bring Times Square and The Ball to the audience digitally, no matter where they are.

A scaled back and socially distanced live production is still being determined.

“People all over the globe are ready to join New Yorkers in welcoming in the new year with the iconic Ball Drop. I commend the Times Square Alliance, Jamestown Properties, and Countdown Entertainment on finding a safe, creative and innovative way for all of us to continue to celebrate this century old-tradition. A new year means a fresh start, and we’re excited to celebrate,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“One thing that will never change is the ticking of time and the arrival of a New Year at midnight on December 31st,” said Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance, which co-produces the event with Countdown Entertainment.

“Because any opportunity to be live in Times Square will be pre-determined and extremely limited due to COVID-19 restrictions, there will be the opportunity to participate virtually wherever you are. Because more than ever in these divided and fear-filled times, the world desperately needs to come together symbolically and virtually to celebrate the people and things we love and to look forward with a sense of renewal and new beginnings,” Tompkins added.

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, many events have been canceled or modified to fight the spread of the virus. The New Year’s Eve Times Square ball drop, which typically brings millions of people together in Manhattan, is no different.

Earlier this month, the mayor and Macy’s announced the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade will be “reinvented” with virtual aspects. The Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks were also modified into smaller fireworks displayed before a grand show was aired on television.

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