The New Year’s Eve celebrations across the country will be a little different this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic — but that isn’t stopping Las Vegas and New York from having COVID-safe parties.
So what will happen in New York?
The ball drop in Times Square in New York is one of the more iconic New Year’s Eve moments in the United States, and it is still happening despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The New York Times reports that Times Square will be closed to the public on New Year’s Eve for the first time in decades. Dozens of front-line workers and their families will be honored on stages at the event, though.
- Camera shots for the event will include close-ups of front-line workers near the stage. They will be wearing masks, though.
Officials told The New York Times they will ask people to move along if they start to gather on corners near Times Square around midnight.
- “Anyone that starts to gather, they’re going to be told to move along,” New York Police Chief Terence A. Monahan told The New York Times. “We are not going to allow people to stand on the street corner and stare up.”
What about Las Vegas?
Las Vegas often has major parties for New Year’s Eve, too. So what will things look like during the pandemic?
There won’t be an annual New Year’s Eve fireworks show on the Las Vegas Strip. However, fireworks will go off in downtown Las Vegas from the Plaza Hotel & Casino, though, according to KLAS. Local news stations will provide a glimpse of the fireworks.
Officials said they’re worried the fireworks event at the Plaza will turn into a super spreader event, according to The Associated Press.
- “I understand that on New Year’s Eve, particularly in Las Vegas, it’ll be difficult to prevent the organic gatherings of people. That’s why it’s critical that businesses and leaders are vocal about the risks. But to organize and promote a gathering with a ticket, or a fee, as if it’s business as usual, that’s just plain irresponsible,” Gov. Steve Sisolak said at a Wednesday news conference.
Fremont Street will offer an experience that will be similar to previous years but with less entertainment. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Fremont Street will work as a pedestrian walkway for those 21 years old and up. Those who want to visit casinos there will need to pay a fee and go under a security screening, which includes “clear bag policy, bag checks, ID scans, screening through metal detectors and a COVID-19 assessment,” according to the Review-Journal.
There will be no live entertainment or live bands there, though.
Can you watch from home?
- “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” will air on ABC, too. It will be hosted by Ryan Seacrest, with performances by Jennifer Lopez, Cyndi Lauper, Billy Porter and more.
- “New Year’s Eve Live with Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen” will air on CNN, too. Other celebrities will perform, too. Josh Groban, John Mayer, Snoop Dogg, Patti LaBelle, Jimmy Buffett, Kylie Minogue, Goo Goo Dolls, Jon Bon Jovi and more are all on the docket.
- “NBC’s New Year’s Eve 2021” will air on NBC. Carson Daly will host the event with performances by Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, Jason Derulo, Chloe x Halle, Pentatonix and more.