NEW YORK -- COVID-19 is forcing changes to the annual New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square.
Every year, New York's new year celebration is one of the hottest tickets in the world. Thousands of people pack Times Square to revel in the festivities and ring in the new year.
But the end of 2020 will be unlike any before it. The number of people allowed to join the party in person will be extremely limited.
Organizers have not released specific numbers or regulations for the event, but they did say it would be scaled-back and socially distanced.
There will however be some sort of new, virtually enhanced celebration designed to bring Times Square and the iconic Ball Drop to people digitally.
"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.
"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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New Year's Eve celebration at Time Square will severely limit number of people allowed to attend