The annual ball drop in Times Square on New Years Eve will be “virtually enhanced, visually compelling and very different” this year with only a very limited number of in-person attendees, organizers announced Wednesday, marking the latest high-profile event to be affected by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The event’s socially-distanced “limited live entertainment” is still in development, but there will be an “extremely limited group of in-person honorees” who will “reflect the themes, challenges and inspirations of 2020.”
“Any opportunity to be live in Times Square will be pre-determined and extremely limited,” Times Square Alliance President Tim Tompkins said in a statement, but the event will offer spectators an opportunity to participate virtually from around the world.
In addition to the live programming, the event will feature “significantly new and enhanced virtual, visual and digital offerings,” Tompkins said.
The celebration will focus on the “news, people and pop culture” from 2020, including programming featuring first responders, essential workers and health professionals alongside the entertainers who typically perform at the annual event.
Jamestown Properties, which owns the One Times Square building where the ball drops, will offer an app that lets users virtually experience Times Square.