Wishing well in Times Square brings New Yorkers closer to the New Year

A wisher shows her hope for the coming year.
Photo by Dean Moses

Tuesday, Dec. 29 marked the last day New Yorkers could submit New Year wishes in Times Square.

In lieu of thousands of New Yorkers packing Times Square to watch the iconic ball drop, the Times Square Alliance devised a way for everyone to be a part of the New Year festivities — albeit without the crowds — through Confetti Wishes.

The New Year Eve’s wishing well is a project held by the Times Square Alliance and sponsored by Planet Fitness to wind up a traumatic year with thousands of positive vibes. Since Dec. 3rd. a booth, dubbed the wishing well, was erected just below the shimmering billboards in the heart of New York where individuals lined up to write their New Year’s wish on a piece of confetti. These multicolored pieces of paper will then be stored away until New Year’s Eve where they will then be shot out of cannons over about 40 families of frontline workers and first responders at midnight. Plastered along the booth and throughout the concert stage setup for the annual performance are the logos of event sponsor Planet Fitness.    

“People can come in and write their New Year’s wish on a piece of confetti, and today is actually the last day, and then we will collect all of them and they will be sent flying all over Times Square,” said Hali Free, who helped coordinate attendees at the wishing well. She shared that about 200-400 wishes have been submitted per day since the booth opened.

Since the annual spectacle has become an invite-only affair, these wishes are a way for everyone to express their hopes for a better 2021. The hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic has made Keyndall Osibodu and her family appreciate the things they have, so they ventured out to the wishing well simply to say thank you.

Hundreds of individuals wrote their wishes on DEC. 29th. Photo by Dean Moses

“Obviously 2020 was such a challenging year. I feel like it is such a beautiful thing to have a wish and a hope, and a manifestation for 2021, just given how challenging it was for all of us and all of our communities. The beautiful thing about setting intentions—or setting well wishes—is that even though it is just writing something down, there is power in words and power in people being a part of a shared experience,” said Osibodu.

Fellow wisher Patricia Coleman is sad that another staple of New York tradition has been halted due to the pandemic. “Just the idea of not having the ball drop with lots of people there is kind of disappointing. So, I think this is a great replacement, and I think we will be a part of history for sure,” Coleman said.

Despite the fact that New York was the epicenter of the pandemic mere months ago and life has been hard for many here, there are those who still believe the legendary city to be just as inspiring as ever. “There is nothing like New York, even in a pandemic you see it’s a lively mood. People are hyped to be here,” said Albania Gomera.

Although New Year’s Eve will not be open to the public, the Times Square Alliance invites people from all around the world to celebrate virtually, streaming the live performances and downloading virtual applications to enhance the experience.

Nathan Pettway and Patricia Coleman share their wishes. Photo by Dean Moses
New Yorkers lined up to submit their wishes and be a part of history. Photo by Dean Moses

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