Photo credit: Countdown Entertainment, LLC, courtesy of Times Square Alliance
The Times Square Alliance announced that its annual New Year’s Eve celebration will take place this year virtually, and it will include the famous ball drop. This will be the first time in 114 years that the December 31 event will not have a crowd. The news came as Mayor de Blasio extended his executive order limiting event permits through December 31, 2020.
In a press release, Times Square Alliance president Tim Tompkins said, “this year there will be significantly new and enhanced virtual, visual and digital offerings to complement whatever limited live entertainment or experiences – still in development — will take place in Times Square.”
In terms of programming, Tompkins added that “no one needs to be reminded of what the dominant news of 2020 has been so far: COVID-19 and a host of racial, economic and climate crises.” However, he added, “Through a limited number of honored guests we will note where we’ve been but more importantly we will honor and celebrate the courageous and creative spirits who have helped and will help us travel through these challenging times into the New Year.”
The NYPD will cordon off Times Square from the general public, and any socially distancing activities taking place within will be for broadcast purposes. For those at home, developer Jamestown, who owns One Times Square, has built a free app that will allow people to participate virtually.
Macy’s also recently announced that its annual Thanksgiving Day Parade will take place virtually this year, and the annual Village Halloween Parade has been cancelled and will be replaced with a yet-to-be-announced virtual event.
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Neighborhoods : Times Square