New York prepares for reimagined New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square

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TIMES SQUARE — Good riddance, 2020.

The celebrations to ring in the new year will be much smaller than usual because of the ongoing pandemic, but many around the world are excited for 2021.

One of the world’s biggest celebrations will see its own changes. Instead of the usual crowd in Times Square for the ball drop, there will be fewer than 100 people at the Crossroads of the World to ring in 2021. Doctors, nurses, teachers, grocery store employees and transit workers will be invited to enjoy the celebration in socially distances pens while everyone else watches from home.

There will be a live broadcast, but just a small in-person audience, Tim Tompkins with the Times Square Alliance said.

“To make up the experience we have a new way to watch,” he said. “Besides broadcast TV, there is a New Year’s Eve app ,which is interactive. You can even choose the camera angles.”

The event will be headlined by Gloria Gaynor, Jennifer Lopez, Billy Porter and Jimmy Allen.

So far, the biggest star for visitors is a large, illuminated 2021 display. It was driven more than 5,000 miles through 15 states to get to Times Square, according to Times Square producer Jeff Strauss.

“As these numerals were being driven across the country by Kia drivers, people along the way at every stop were cheering,” Strauss said. “Everyone can’t wait until 2020 is over.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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