New Year’s Eve in Times Square Will Be Virtual This Year—Here’s What to Expect

You can expect MAJOR changes to the New Year's Eve bash.

2020 has been the year of “things looking different,” hasn’t it? From how we shop at grocery stores to traditions like Oktoberfest and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the COVID-19 outbreak has changed how we navigate everyday life.

Maybe it was to be expected, then, that New York City’s annual Ball Drop on New Year’s Eve would have to shift a little. Here are the modifications you can expect for this event—and how you can still welcome 2021 with that beloved ball.

It Will Be a “Virtually Enhanced” Celebration

That’s what event organizers are saying, and as you probably guessed, that means very few spectators will be lining the New York City streets. But what does “virtually enhanced” really mean?

It sounds like there could still be live performers, but even though the details haven’t been finalized, we’re certain you won’t see the joyous crowd you’re used to watching on TV. Times Square itself will be blocked off, and any events filmed will be for virtual audiences—not for cheering crowds.

Times Square organizers mentioned “new and enhanced virtual, visual and digital offerings,” with interactivity options for viewers everywhere. One thing that’s not changing, however, is the people featured in the celebration; the ball drop will still boast guest appearances from pop culture icons and news anchors, and essential workers will be honored.

How Does That Change Things for Me?

Unless you were planning to travel to New York City for the Ball Drop, it probably won’t change anything. It actually sounds like this year’s party might be more accessible for those around the country; including families who might or might not stay up to catch that glowing New Year’s orb. There’ll be an app to download that’ll display the Times Square festivities, as well as a “Virtual World of Times Square” to explore.

However you celebrate, now’s a great time to start thinking about what you’ll be serving for New Year’s Eve!

Snacks to Serve on New Year's Eve
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Emily Hannemann
Emily adores both food and writing, so combining those passions as a writer for Taste of Home makes perfect sense. Her work has also appeared in Birds & Blooms and on TV Insider. When she’s not eating peanut butter straight from the jar, you'll find her running or birdwatching. Emily is currently a journalism graduate student at the University of Missouri.