A new app brings New York City’s New Year’s Eve experience right to your home.
Jamestown, owner of One Times Square – home of the iconic New Year’s Eve Ball – has collaborated with Ultimate Gamer, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Samsung, and others to create a first-of-its-kind virtual New Year’s Eve experience so Americans can ring in the New Year safely with Virtual New Year’s Eve (VNYE).
“Here in New York, One Times Square is the place where people mark the world’s biggest moments. It is also the place where a million-plus people gather each year to celebrate New Year’s Eve,” Jamestown President Michael Phillips said. “When it became clear to us, the Times Square Alliance, and our partners in the city and the state, that this celebration would not be possible this year, we turned our attention to creating a new platform that enables everyone, everywhere to join us virtually in Times Square.”
VNYE features a virtual world that places the user in the heart of Times Square. After personalizing their avatar, users can explore interactive games, a live broadcast of the iconic ball drop, the festivities, art, music, and more. On Dec. 31, viewers can tune in for a live broadcast presented by David Osmond, host of the award-winning television series Wonderama. The all-night show will feature amazing talent and greetings from world leaders and families as we all ring in the New Year together.
Mayor de Blasio will push the crystal button on the main stage in the center of Times Square on New Year’s Eve, signaling the lowering of the Waterford Crystal Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball. Due to onsite social distancing protocols, guests will not appear on stage with the Mayor, and each guest and their family will represent the Everyday Heroes of 2020 and will watch the event from a private, physically distanced viewing area.
“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,” said Mayor de Blasio. “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.”
To mark this occasion, US mayors from Atlanta, Birmingham, Boston, Charleston, Charlottesville, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Savannah, and Seattle along with leaders from Canada, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, and Spain are joining the festivities to help New York in sending messages of hope and optimism for 2021.
“2020 has been a challenging year, but it has also shown us how strong we can be when we support one another. In Boston, and in cities and towns all across the United States and across the globe, we’ve found creative ways to keep traditions alive and stay connected, safely,” said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “New York’s first-ever virtual New Year’s Eve celebration is a great example of that, and we’re proud to be a part of it as we look forward to better days ahead in 2021.”
“Here in New Orleans, we know how to celebrate; we practically invented it, and we are looking forward to ringing in a New Year. We also know how to rise to a challenge, and 2020 was a year of challenges,” said New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “In our city, and across the country, we are putting in the work and there is a light at the end of this tunnel, and we will continue to move forward together. On behalf of the City of New Orleans, I wish everyone around the world good health, happiness, and prosperity in the New Year.”
“2020 has been a difficult year, due to the COVID 19 pandemic. We need to continue making extraordinary efforts to reduce the number of people infected by the virus,” said Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said. “To the health personnel, we owe you our life, on behalf of all citizens, we thank you. We must honor their efforts by being responsible. Together, we will overcome. Each one of our actions has an impact on the evolution of the pandemic. We must take responsibility for our actions. The most important thing today is our health, our lives.”
“We are all fighting COVID-19, but there is one more fight against discrimination towards infected citizens,” Fukuoka City Mayor Sōichirō Takashima said. “Our enemy is the virus, not each other. We must not let it divide us.”
Event organizers are inviting families from around the world to post video messages on Instagram describing their hopes for 2021. A select few who post videos and tag @OneTimesSquareNYC and #WonderamaWishes may also be chosen to speak with David Osmond in the coming days and have their message featured during the live broadcast.
The interactive gaming experience is available on VNYE.com and in all app stores.