Just as we’ve begun to wrap our heads around the fact that from Halloween to Thanksgiving, holiday traditions will look very different this year, an announcement was made via a press release that the traditional New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square will take place virtually.

In order to stop the spread of COVID-19, crowds will not be allowed to gather to ring in the New Year in Times Square in the Big Apple.

©istockphoto.com/Simon Dux

“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, the president of the Times Square Alliance, in the news release.

“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.”

Parts of Times Square will still be cordoned off for New Year’s Eve, but only for broadcast purposes, not to host the huge crowds that fill the city streets waiting for a glimpse of the glittering ball and to join in the countdown to 2021.

“There will be some socially distanced activities in Times Square but it’s going to be primarily for a broadcast and streaming audience,” Tompkins said.

“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.”

So, while we hope that 2021 will be a much better year, and look toward it will hopefulness, we’ll have to do so from the comfort of our living rooms and not outside in NYC.

With January 1 less than a hundred days away now, organizers of the event announced that this year’s celebration will be “virtually enhanced, visually compelling and very different.”

“People all over the globe are ready to join New Yorkers in welcoming in the new year with the iconic Ball Drop,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I commend the Times Square Alliance, Jamestown, 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.”

More details to come on what exactly the virtual celebration will include.

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