Reopen NYC: A virtual New Year's Eve planned in Times Square

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Organizers of the New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square say they are planning a virtually enhanced celebration that brings Times Square and The Ball to people digitally no matter where they are located.

The scaled-back and socially-distanced live elements are still to be determined, officials said.

An extremely limited group of in-person honorees, socially distanced, will reflect the themes, challenges, and inspirations of 2020.

"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 Properties, 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," said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

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"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," Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance, which co-produces the event with Countdown Entertainment, said.

The owner of One Times Square, Jamestown, where the New Year's Eve Ball drops, has built the virtual world of Times Square and a complementary broadcast app to allow everyone to experience Times Square and celebrate with us in these unusual times.

The organizers noted that as in past years, news, people and pop culture from the year will be woven into the celebration.

"More details to come; either way, we will be celebrating with you in some form on the 31st," said Tompkins.



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The sense of doom grew, especially after March 1, when the first confirmed case arrived in Manhattan. Soon, there was a hotspot in New Rochelle, and small curfews and containment zones across the area offered a hint of a frightening future we still thought we could avoid.


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