New York Bans New Year’s Eve Crowds From Gathering In Times Square For First Time In 114 Years
In light of the ongoing health crisis, New York officials have banned people gathering for the city’s traditional New Year’s Eve festivities.
For the past 114 years, thousands of people have congregated in Times Square on the night of December 31, but this year will look very different for the American city.
While the iconic ball will still drop at midnight, people will only be able to watch it take place virtually – a far cry from the usual, exciting experience that is New Year’s Eve in New York.
Tim Tompkins, the president of the Times Square Alliance, said:
One thing that will never change is the ticking of time and the arrival of a New Year at midnight on December 31st. But 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.
Speaking to theNew York Post, Tompkins added that while there will be some ‘socially distanced activities’ in Times Square, the area will largely be for broadcasters and will be cordoned off by police.
He continued, ‘There will be a very finite number of people in Times Square to sort of make that happen for the broadcast purposes, but there’s not going to be crowds of the general public.’
It is yet to be decided what live events will take place during the celebration, which usually sees bands and artists performing to a huge crowd. There will, however, be ‘an extremely limited group of in-person honorees’, said Tompkins.
Jeff Strauss, the President of Countdown Entertainment, which co-produces the event alongside the Times Square Alliance, said:
We will miss everyone this year but we will bring our celebration to you, whether you want to turn off and turn away from the bad news of 2020, or turn to the new year with a sense of hope, renewal and resolution, you’ll be able to join us virtually like never before as part of the Times Square 2021 celebration.
This isn’t the first annual event New York has changed this year; last month it was announced the city’s usual 9/11 tribute wasn’t going ahead as usual.
While people don’t typically gather in large groups to look at the two pillars of lights that are shone up to the sky every September 11, the main concerns were for the crews that assemble them that have to work in close proximity to one another.
Instead of its usual memorial, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum partnered with NYC & Company to light up different building’s facades and spires in blue throughout the city.
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