New York bans New Year’s crowds with virtual celebrations.

Times Square, New York.

The iconic Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Despite being a few months away, Times Square Alliance President Tim Tompkins revealed the celebration would turn virtual with no large crowds gathering in New York City’s epicenter. For the first time in 114 years, the tradition where more than thousands would gather to watch the New Year’s Eve ball drop is not happening as the city enters 2021.

The NYPD will patrol Times Square on December 31st to ensure that there are no crowds as the organizers are planning a virtual event and application where people can countdown on their screens. The organizers also announced that a very small group of socially distanced people will be allowed but only for broadcast purposes.

While news and popular culture events from the past year are normally mixed into the hours long celebration, organizers are looking to lighten the mood.

‘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,’ Tompkins stated.

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