Holidays

NYE in Times Square 2021: Details to Come Tuesday, But We Know One Key Thing Now

There were no crowds at the Crossroads of the World for the iconic ball drop last year, but it seems that's going to change to wrap up 2021

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has pledged specifics to come Tuesday as far as what New Year's Eve will look like in Times Square this year, but he did drop at least one key point in his daily COVID briefing on Monday: It won't be empty.

"It'll be a large, wonderful celebration with clear, smart rules on keeping people safe," the mayor said when asked directly about the end-of-2021 celebration.

He declined to elaborate further, despite repeated attempts by reporters to get him to give a bit more, but the world won't have to wait much longer to find out.

It's not clear what kind of "smart rules" the city might impose for revelers, but the city's recent successes driving its COVID rates down through vaccination -- and requiring proof of vaccination or negative tests, in some cases -- may be at play.

Ultimately, it sounds like the end-of-year bash will be a far cry from the crowd-less atmosphere that encapsulated 2020's festivities. Those came just before another significant COVID-19 wave overspread the United States -- and just as the very first vaccinations were becoming available to healthcare and other frontline workers.

The message to partiers who wanted to see the sights at the Crossroads of the World was simple: "Don't come. Don't even attempt to come down there to watch."

A small group of frontline workers was permitted to witness the ball drop in person last year. All the celebrations and festivities were also broadcast live on TV and streaming online -- and more than a ton of confetti still fell.

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This year, though, it'll fall on people instead of empty streets. Check back with News 4 Tuesday for details on the mayor's plans to keep the city safe -- and still allow crowds to celebrate -- the incoming 2022 in person.

Our New Year's Eve celebrations will be more subdued this year due to the pandemic. News 4's Katherine Creag reports from Times Square.
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