Here’s how to watch and what to expect
When the 2021 ball drops in Times Square this New Year’s Eve, its 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles will alight to a relatively empty plaza — with the celebration’s public audience trading in standing elbow-to-elbow for viewing stream-to-screen.
Broadcast on television and online, this year’s Times Square New Year’s Eve festivities will take place largely virtually, though there will be live elements and a limited group of in-person honorees. The webcast will begin at 6 p.m. Eastern online, and will air across networks, including ABC, CNN, FOX, NBC and Univision.
The affair, hosted by actor Jonathan Bennett, will not be without entertainment. Singer Gloria Gaynor will perform her iconic hit “I Will Survive,” in addition to “Joy Comes in the Morning” and “Never Can Say Goodbye.”
Adhering to strict social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines, this year’s event will honor first responders, frontline and essential workers as the celebration’s designated special guests.
“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,” Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance (a co-organizer of the event alongside Countdown Entertainment), said in a statement earlier this month. “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.”
Those who would like to scribe their wishes for 2021 on the confetti that will flutter down at midnight can do so by submitting a note in-person or online to the New Year’s Eve Wishing Wall, which opened earlier this month in Manhattan’s Times Square. Organizers state that the event will see around 2,000 pounds of confetti.
“In an unprecedented year, the Wishing Wall gives us a moment to look forward with hope for a better future,” Tompkins stated. “Confetti wishes will rain down for all the world to see as we thankfully turn the page on 2020 and enter 2021 with joy and optimism.”
Related Reading: This year, as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold across the city, Times Square transformed into an exhibition space for artists responding to the crisis with messages of support for essential workers.
Top Image: Delivery of the 2021 numeral. Photo: Times Square Alliance.