Large crowds of revelers will be welcomed back to Times Square to watch the ball drop and ring in 2022 on New Year’s Eve, Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed Monday morning.
Hizzoner told reporters at his Nov. 15 daily briefing that the city would announce plans Tuesday for the big bash at the Crossroads of the World, promising to close out a year of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic with “a large, wonderful celebration.”
Pre-pandemic, New Year’s Eve celebrations at Times Square drew upwards of a million spectators, braving even the harshest of conditions to participate in the world’s most famous New Year’s party. But last year’s New Year’s Eve in Times Square was devoid of spectators, with just a handful (by comparison) of essential workers, dignitaries and performers on hand to take part in a largely remote celebration.
Now, with the COVID-19 vaccination effort driving down cases and reopening society, de Blasio vowed that New York would ring out 2021, and ring in 2022, with the return of a festive atmosphere the public will be able to enjoy in person.
“More details are going to be announced tomorrow on the specifics,” de Blasio said Monday. “We want to have a great New Year’s Eve celebration in the city. This city has been through so much… We’re turning the corner, we’ve got a lot to celebrate.”
The mayor noted that some final details in the plan are being hammered out “with all the stakeholders involved.”
While revelers will be welcomed back to Times Square, de Blasio indicated that there would be some protocols in place with “clear, smart rules to keep everyone safe.” Citing sources, CBS New York reported that may include requiring all revelers to present proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.
Nonetheless, New Yorkers can “expect a great moment in Times Square on New Year’s Eve,” de Blasio vowed.
The celebration will also be the last major event that de Blasio will preside over as mayor. His term ends when the clock hits midnight on Dec. 31, with Eric Adams becoming New York City’s 110th mayor on Jan. 1.