If you live in America, then the ultimate New Year’s Eve celebration is the one that takes place in Times Square in New York City. Over a billion people worldwide watch the ball drop in Times Square every year, and at least a million people are actually there, experiencing it live. If you’re planning on joining the in-person revelers at Times Square this December 31st, here are the things that you need to know.
- Arrive Early. This cannot be stressed enough. The New Year’s Eve event at Times Square is free and open to everyone on a first-come, first-served basis, but if you want a good viewing space, you need to stake it out early. There is only so much room. Revelers usually begin arriving in the afternoon. By 3:00 pm, the police will have closed the area to traffic. The best way to get to Times Square is by public transportation. The subway and the shuttle stations are your best bet, and you should get off at a station outside times square, and enter the area on foot. Once there, revelers will be directed to viewing stations by police.
- Bring Food. If you don’t want to bring something to eat with you, make sure that you eat well before you go. Once you are let into a viewing station, you can’t leave, or if you do leave, you won’t be able to get back in. The street vendors that are there during the day are not there on New Year’s eve. Since you’re liable to be there for quite awhile, you’ll want to be sure to either bring some pretty filling snacks, or make sure that your stomach is full before you get there.
- Plan for Heavy Security. You’re going to go through a pretty thorough security checkpoint. You won’t be allowed to bring a backpack, and you definitely need to be sure that you aren’t carrying anything that could be considered a weapon. Expect any bags that you are carrying, like a purse or shopping bags, to be searched, and expect to be scanned with a metal detector. There will also be bomb and drug sniffing dogs present.
- Know the Schedule. At 6:00pm, the lighting and raising of the ball will occur. That lasts about three minutes, and then the opening ceremonies will begin. Around 6:20, the Times Square Alliance sanitation crew will hand out fun giveaways to revelers, things like balloons, scarves, and 2013 party hats. The hourly countdowns begin at 6:57, and the revelers count down the minutes to each of the final hours left in the old year. Then, of course, is the 60 second countdown at 11:59 as the ball drops, and the ringing in of the new year. At midnight, more than a ton of confetti is released over the revelers.
You are sure to have lots of fun ringing in the new year at the biggest New Year’s party in the world. Now that you know what to expect, you should have no trouble planning your New Year’s Eve visit to Times Square.