However, according to tradition, at midnight, the fall of a crystal ball on the largest American metropolis’s main square will herald the beginning of the New Year.
On Thursday, the entrance to Times Square in New York was blocked. Only a small group of guests, including health workers and other professionals at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic, will be allowed here to watch the traditional New Year’s ball fall in the city’s main square.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said everyone else should stay home and watch the New Year’s Eve program on TV. As in other American cities, in New York, many festive events are held online.
Usually, on December 31, tens of thousands of people fill the blocks around Times Square, standing in the cold for hours, waiting for the crystal ball to descend in the last seconds of the year slowly.
This year, the police will allow only a small number of masked people to enter the square. Among them are the Bronx singer Jennifer Lopez and Gloria Gaynor, who is scheduled to perform her classic hit “I Will Survive,” as well as several dozen employees of medical and other city services that ensure the life of the metropolis in the midst of a pandemic.
Organizers invited a grocery store worker, a doorman, a pizza delivery man, and doctors and nurses to the square, including Sandra Lindsey, a nurse from New York who became the first recipient of the coronavirus vaccine in the United States after testing the drug earlier this month.
More than 25 thousand New Yorkers died from coronavirus infection in the past year.
“In fact, it will probably be the most special, the brightest, and the most exciting New Year’s Eve,” Mayor de Blasio told reporters, who on New Year’s Eve will press the button to start the descent of the crystal ball. “In 2021, we are going to show how the return to normal life will take place.”
As daily counts of infections remain disappointing in the US, bars, restaurants, and other crowded places are closing or operating with heavy restrictions.
In Las Vegas, Boston, and other cities, fireworks were canceled. The organizers of the annual First Night Arts Festival in Boston on New Year’s Eve staged a six-hour online music broadcast.