Times Square will regain its normal luster on New Year’s Eve after two years of pandemic protocols for the nation’s ultimate way to end a year.
The 2021 edition allowed just a handful of first responders and their families to Times Square as the event was mostly made for TV. Last year’s ball drop allowed thousands, but attendees had to provide proof of vaccination. The ball drop came amid a spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
While COVID-19 remains a deadly virus, it is a ubiquitous part of life. Although COVID-19 is causing an average of 300 deaths per day, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, the virus was responsible for killing over 2,000 a day nationwide this time a year ago.
“The New Year offers people a unique chance to reflect and simultaneously look forward by defining their goals and dreams for a better future,” said Tom Harris, president of the Times Square Alliance. “Revelers celebrating in Times Square and everyone watching on TV will kick off the new year with hope and joy as they watch confetti fall from the sky, filled with people’s wishes and aspirations for a new year.”
Earlier this week, officials announced that Chelsea Cutler, JVKE, Jax, Ava Max, J-Hope, Osmani Garcia, New Edition, Sech and Duran Duran will be lead performers at this year’s event.
This year’s ball weighs 11,875 pounds and is 12 feet in diameter. It’s made up of 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles, which are bolted to 576 LED models attached to its aluminum frame.
The ball will go up at 6 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. It begins descending one minute before midnight.
The ball drop has been an annual tradition since 1907. That year’s ball weighed 700 pounds.