When the 6-ton ball, encrusted with almost 2,700 Waterford crystals, slipped from the 21.3 m mast, the gathered crowd welcomed the New Year with no less enthusiasm than in previous years. Fireworks shot up into the sky, and tons of multi-colored confetti fell from the skyscrapers.
“Everyone seems so excited. Madness, enthusiasm. I don’t quite get it when I see so many people without masks or wearing them on their chin. I can’t help but think how many of them will get sick. But anyway: happy New Year’s Day, “said Agnes Green.
The retiring Bill de Blasio took part in the New Year’s event for the last time as the mayor of New York. “We have to send a message to the world. New York is open” – he said before the New Year’s party.
Among the artists honoring the event were, among others Ja Rule, Ahanti, Chloe, Journey and Carol G. He canceled his performance at the last minute due to coronavirus infection, incl. one of the most anticipated celebrities, rapper, producer and actor LL Cool J.
“We were ready and I really looked forward to welcoming 2022 to my hometown in a special way, but for now I wish everyone a healthy and happy New Year. The best is yet to come!” – said the rapper.
This was to remind everyone that there are thousands of new cases of Covid-19 in the city every day. On Wednesday and Thursday, according to the authorities, there were approx. 44 thousand of them each.
Although the New York authorities had previously announced the New Year’s party with full pomp as in the best of times, due to the severity of the pandemic, Mayor de Blasio decided to reduce the number of spectators seated in the so-called viewing zones. Usually around 58,000 are allowed there. people; this year’s limit was 15 thousand.
The main organizer of the event, Times Square Alliance president Tom Harris, justified the decision to continue the tradition of welcoming the New Year to the city despite the escalation of the pandemic. He emphasized that every day around 300,000 people pass through the famous square. people.
“We are very excited to welcome the guests to Times Square again this New Year’s Eve. (…) Our goal is to conduct a safe and responsible event for the world to see, Harris explained.
Unlike before the pandemic, when viewers could gather in Times Square from early morning to secure a good seat, this time they were only admitted from 15. They had to undergo multiple checks, show a certificate of full immunization against Covid-19, and wear masks, and those who did not have them were delivered on the spot. However, not everyone followed this requirement.
New York City Police Commissioner (NYPD) Dermot Shea said there were no credible threats. However, hundreds of officers were mobilized. Police urged participants not to bring bulky items, backpacks, chairs and alcohol to Times Square.