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The NYE Times Square Ball Drop Will Be Virtual This Year

Times Square's Big New Year's Eve Bash Will Be Scaled Back This Year With a Virtual Ball Drop

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 30:  Times Square New Year's Eve 2017 - Philips Ball Test at One Times Square on December 30, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)

Though it comes as no surprise, New York City's annual New Year's Eve celebration will officially be much more scaled back this year. In lieu of the big ball-drop party — typically attended by one million spectators — the Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment, which coproduce the event, will instead offer virtual components with some socially distanced live elements.

"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," said Times Square Alliance President Tim Tompkins. He went on to note how an app will allow viewers to virtually participate and witness the ball drop from home, adding, "The world desperately needs to come together symbolically and virtually to celebrate the people and things we love and to look forward with a sense of renewal and new beginnings."

There will still, however, be some in-person guests, including essential workers, first responders, and famous entertainers. Tompkins said, "Through a limited number of honoured guests we will note where we've been but more importantly we will honour and celebrate the courageous and creative spirits who have helped and will help us travel through these challenging times into the New Year."

Image Source: Getty / Theo Wargo
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