The world famous New York Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration is officially cancelled for 2020.
The annual celebration in Times Square is among the biggest in the world. The one day where about a million people celebrate the beginning of a new year in the streets of midtown Manhattan, will not be seen this year.
Instead, organsers are planning a scaled-back, virtual event, which will include an app where revellers can view the countdown remotely and still witness the famous ball drop in the square.
The Times Square Alliance, which runs the event, confirmed that even through the mass event is cancelled, there will be a very limited group of socially distanced people allowed into the square for broadcast purposes.
Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance, said that; "There will be some socially distanced activities in Times Square but it's going to be primarily for a broadcast and streaming audience."
He added that; "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."
"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."
The Alliance revealed that watching the famous ball come down to usher in 2021, will be a digital affair, and that the live entertainment that make up a good portion of the hours-long celebration are still being determined.
A virtual world of Times Square, and an app to broadcast the New Year's Eve Ball drop, have been developed by Jamestown, which owns One Times Square.
Mayor, Bill de Blasio, also released a statement where he said; "People all over the globe are ready to join New Yorkers in welcoming in the new year with the iconic Ball Drop. 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."
Tompkins concluded by saying 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. 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."