On December 31 hundreds of thousands of revelers will fill New York City’s Times Square to watch the famous New Year’s Eve Ball descend from One Times Square and to celebrate the start of a new year. The 106-year-old tradition continues as friends and families gather to count down to 2011, and NYC & Company, New York City’s official marketing, tourism and partnership organization, encourages Harlemites to experience the many New Year’s Eve events taking place across the City.
“On the last day of each year, Times Square-the Crossroads of the World-becomes the focal point for millions of viewers across the globe,” said George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Company. “On New Year’s Eve the five boroughs come alive with celebrations, and we encourage New Yorkers and visitors alike to ring out the old and ring in the new in New York City.” More than 100 million television viewers in the United States and more than 1 billion people worldwide are expected to watch the Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball Drop. The ball is a 12-foot geodesic sphere, weighing 11,875 pounds, covered in 2,668 Waterford crystals, powered by 32,256 Philips Luxeon Rebel LED lights and capable of creating a palette of more than 16 million vibrant colors.
In the days and hours before the ball drops, events and activities related to the New Year’s celebration will be held across New York City, including:
New Year’s Eve Wishing Wall: Located at the Times Square Information Center, the wall is quickly filling with visitors’ wishes for 2011. Everyone is welcome to visit the wall and record their wishes on pieces of paper. Individuals not able to visit the Information Center can submit their wishes online at timessquarenyc.org. All of the wishes from the wall and submitted online will be collected and added to the confetti that flutters down onto the streets of Times Square at midnight on New Year’s Eve.
Good Riddance Day: On December 28, the Times Square Alliance invites the public to say good-bye and good riddance to their worst memory from 2010. Cintas Corporation will provide a large mobile shredder in Duffy Square to discard depressing memories so you can start fresh in 2011.
Staten Island Children’s Museum: From 1-3pm on New Year’s Eve, prepare for the night’s festivities at the museum, where guests are invited to make their own noisemakers, hats and crowns. Admission is $6; for more information go to statenislandkids.org.
Hess Clydesdale Carriage Rides at the Bronx Zoo: From December 26-31, the zoo offers wagon rides daily from 11:30am-3:30pm. The zoo’s beloved Clydesdale horses-Ranger, Jesse and Monty-will delight both kids and adults. Rides start at Astor Court and cost $5; to find out more, visit bronxzoo.com.
Emerald Nuts Midnight Run: On New Year’s Eve, New York Road Runners hosts the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run, a 4-mile race in Central Park. Before the race starts at midnight, enjoy a fireworks and laser-light show, dancing and a costume parade at the Central Park Bandshell. Additional details can be found at nyrr.org.
New York Philharmonic: At 8pm at Avery Fisher Hall on New Year’s Eve, the New York Philharmonic presents an evening of music. Alan Gilbert will conduct the second act of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, his “Polonaise” from Eugene Onegin, and “Piano Concerto No.1″ featuring solo pianist Lang Lang. Tickets for the concert can be purchased online at nyphil.org.
Additional concerts on New Year’s Eve night include: Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings at the Best Buy Theater (formerly Nokia Theater), Patti Smith & Her Band will perform at the Bowery Ballroom, and The Roots will play three sets at the Brooklyn Bowl, which will remain open until 6am. All three shows begin at 8pm and tickets can be purchased at either ticketmaster.com or brooklynbowl.com.
Grand Army Plaza: New Year’s Eve celebrations in Brooklyn kick off around 11pm with entertainment, hot refreshments and fireworks at the Grand Army Plaza. The best viewing locations for the fireworks are within Grand Army Plaza, along West Drive in Prospect Park, and along Prospect Park West between grand Army Plaza and 9th Street. For more information go to prospectpark.org.
Jamaica Performing Arts Center: At 9pm in Queens, the JPAC, housed in a renovated church, hosts a New Year’s Eve celebration with a DJ, a champagne toast at midnight, food, beverages and party favors for only $75. For more information please visit jamaica-performingartscenter.org.
Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises: New Year’s Eve party cruise including an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, DJ, party favors and a champagne toast at midnight. The cruise sails from 10pm-1am (boarding at 9pm) and tickets are $140 (must be 18 for the cruise and 21 to drink alcohol). For more information and to purchase tickets visit circleline42.com <http://www.circleline42.com> .
For more information about New Year’s Eve events happening in New York City, please visit nycgo.com/holidays.