This year's New Year's Eve celebrations will be somewhat different. There's no question of crowding into a packed nightclub, or kissing a stranger at the stroke of midnight. But you can still celebrate New Year's Eve in Times Square thanks to a new application, which partygoers from all over the world can download for free.
For the first time in decades, Times Square will be closed to the public on New Year's Eve. Only a dozen essential workers and their families will be able to enter the square to celebrate the (much-anticipated) arrival of the year 2021 in the presence of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
But they won't be the only ones to witness the traditional descent of the Times Square Ball, a gigantic crystal ball that releases thousands of pieces of confetti at the twelfth stroke of midnight.
Have you always wanted to join New Yorkers for New Year's Eve without having to face the freezing temperatures that hit the American city at this time of year? This is the perfect opportunity.
The NYE2021 application, available on the App Store, Google Play and Galaxy Store, offers anyone the opportunity to follow the event from home. Once you create your avatar, you can take a picture of yourself with the New Year's Eve Crystal Ball, admire digital artwork displayed in Times Square, play games and watch musical performances by Alex Boyé, Armani White and Chloe Gilligan. At midnight on the dot, an augmented reality fireworks display will appear on your screen to mark the beginning of 2021.
Partygoers will also be treated to live performances by Pitbull, Anitta, Jennifer Lopez, Billy Porter, Cyndi Lauper, Jimmie Allen, Machine Gun Kelly, The Waffle Crew and USO Show Troupe in a special broadcast on US television and the internet starting at 6pm EST.
The queen of disco, Gloria Gaynor, will belt out her hit song "I Will Survive," a fitting way to thumb your nose at the year 2020. Singer Andra Day will sing the late John Lennon's classic "Imagine" as the New Year's Eve Crystal Ball begins its descent.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement: "New Yorkers are excited for a fresh start in 2021, and we'll ring in the New Year by doing what we do best: looking out for one another. We're keeping our city safe by forgoing large gatherings, and I know this dynamic virtual programming will still make this New Year's Eve a night to remember."