Leaders from as far as Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, and Spain, and Mayors from cities as close as Atlanta, Boston, Houston, Los Angeles, and Miami join New York in marking this historic occasion
Organizers of the New Year's Eve Ball Drop Celebration invite families around the world to post video messages on Instagram describing their hopes for 2021; a select few may be chosen to participate in a live broadcast hosted by Wonderama's David Osmond
NEW YORK, Dec. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Organizers of the famed New Year's Eve Ball Drop Celebration are bringing the world's biggest party right to your home, live and direct from the crossroads of the world, Times Square. 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 to allow people to ring in the New Year safely.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said: "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. 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."
Times Square Alliance President Tim Tompkins said: "New York has always been a global city and Times Square New Year's Eve a global celebration, so we are pleased to join with mayors from around the world to virtually celebrate together and to say goodbye – finally! – to 2020."
To mark this historic 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.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said: "Thank you to Jamestown and all of the partners for organizing a safe event to celebrate New Year's Eve. Although 2020 has been full of challenges, the fact that we are here to celebrate a New Year is a testament to the resilience of people around the world."
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh said: "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. 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."
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said: "It's a genuine honor to be able to help ring in the New Year in Times Square, and to offer everyone, everywhere best wishes for a happy, healthy 2021. As we say here in Charleston, Happy New Year, y'all!"
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said: "This year has been unlike any other -- unprecedented, painful, filled with loss and anguish -- so it's only fitting we should bid farewell to 2020 in a unique, fun, safe, and virtual way. While we can't gather together to ring in the New Year like we usually do, let's all look ahead to 2021 with hope, vigilance, selflessness, the promise of a vaccine and an end to this crisis -- and a return to the embrace of family and friends."
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said: "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. 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."
Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan said: "2020 presented unprecedented challenges for cities across the world. We saw the resiliency, compassion and determination of our neighbors, friends, essential workers, and first responders to respond to a one in a lifetime pandemic and economic crisis. In 2021, there is so much hope on the horizon. Cities like Seattle will build back stronger, better and more equitable. We still have some tough months ahead, but we have the grit and determination to not just get through them, but to create a better future for the next generations. May the New Year bring us all peace, joy, and happiness. Goodbye 2020 and hello 2021."
Everyone everywhere can start the festivities today by downloading the NYE app to enter the virtual world of Times Square. On December 31st, 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.
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.
Wonderama Host David Osmond said: "All of us at Wonderama are thrilled to be a part of this historic world-wide celebration. We are all ready to move on from 2020 and in ring in a fabulous New Year! I am proud to be virtually hosting this exciting event, culminating with iconic ball drop in Times Square. It is a global community coming together with a shared wish for health, happiness and human kindness."
Jamestown President Michael Phillips said: "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. 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. For us, this was a simple decision. Jamestown, as a steward of New Year's Eve, had a responsibility to bring people together, in a safe and socially distanced way, while making sure the time-honored tradition of ringing in the New Year didn't get lost in 2020."
Mayor de Blasio will push the crystal button on the main stage in the center of Times Square, which signals the lowering of the Waterford Crystal Times Square New Year's Eve Ball. Historically, he is joined by special guests on the mainstage for this moment. This year, due to onsite social distancing protocols, guests will not appear on stage with the Mayor. This year each guest and their family will represent the Everyday Heroes of 2020 and will watch the event from a private, physically distanced viewing area.
Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said: "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. 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."
Fukuoka City Mayor Sōichirō Takashima said: "We are all fighting COVID-19, but there is one more fight against discrimination towards infected citizens. Our enemy is the virus, not each other. We must not let it divide us."
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