As revelers gather for NYC’s New Years Eve celebrations, a large crowd forms.
Nearly 15,000 people are expected to attend the Times Square Celebration despite the new spike in state court cases, which reached a record 76.555 cases.
However, there were thousands of revelers gathered in the square, many wearing traditional celebration attire, including beaded necklaces, funky hats and 2022 glasses.
In preparation of the mega-holiday, lines formed on the streets.
Officials warned Friday not to celebrate the expanding caseload because it could lead to uncontrolled celebrations.
The city said it would limit the number of people it lets into Times Square to witness a 6-ton ball, encrusted with nearly 2,700 Waterford crystals, descend above a crowd of the in-person spectators — far fewer than the many tens of thousands of revelers who usually descend on the world-famous square to bask in the lights, hoopla and shower of confetti during the nation’s marquee New Year’s Eve event.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio was the one to announce the cut-back celebration.
Officials stated that attendees would need to be wearing masks and showing proof of vaccination in order not to contract widespread diseases.
LL Cool J, a rapper and actor was scheduled to perform on Friday evening at Times Square. However, he announced that he will not be performing because he has tested positive for COVID.
The average COVID-19 case in America has risen to 265,000 per day, which is the highest level ever recorded. New York City reported a record number of new, confirmed cases — nearly 44,000 — on Wednesday and a similar number Thursday, according to New York state figures.
The New Years Eve Celebration in Times Square draws thousands of spectators despite the rise in COVID cases as well the introduction of Omicron, a new variant of Omicron.
The world-famous ball dropping event is being watched by spectators. It was closed last year due to the pandemic.
The traditional New Year’s Eve costume for spectators includes 2022 themed glasses and scarves.
However, the Omicron surge that impacted NYC and other parts of the US will continue to reduce the crowd.
After last year’s pandemic, the New Year’s Eve celebration was closed to the public.
‘We are very excited to welcome back visitors to Times Square this New Year’s Eve,’ said Tom Harris, the president of the Times Square Alliance.
“Our aim is to create a responsible and safe event that the whole world can see.”
But 2022 begins just as the year prior began — with the pandemic clouding an already uncertain future.
Doubts swirled about whether the city would have to cancel this year’s bash, as the city posted record numbers of COVID cases in the days leading to it, even as some cities like Atlanta had decided to cancel their own celebrations.
The Omicron variant of Omicron was identified by South African health officials as the first to be discovered in America last month, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
American is currently experiencing an average of 300,387 Covid cases per hour, which is a record for a pandemic and the first time that the 300,000. mark in America has been achieved.
New York state recorded 76,500 COVID cases on Friday, up from yesterday’s record of 67,000, governor Kathy Hochul announced.
The governor stated that there were currently 3,925 New Yorkers hospitalized and 80 died from Covid yesterday.
The celebrations have not been halted by the increase in cases.
De Blasio said on Thursday that he doesn’t believe there should be any shutdowns. “We must fight our way out of this.” De Blasio’s words are strikingly in contrast to what he did during the pandemic that saw New York City close down for many months in 2020.
New York City’s incoming mayor, Eric Adams, is scheduled to take his oath in Times Square soon after the ball drop and he expressed hope Thursday that 2022 would be ‘a new beginning of our resiliency.’
The Mayor-Elect Adams doubled down on New Year’s Celebrations, declaring that his swearing in ceremony will be held during festivities. This is after he cancelled his Saturday in-person inauguration.
As college students, Mary and Vanessa Anyakwo, their sisters, were cautiously optimistic as they took in Times Square from their suburban Elmsford home.
Mary, 20, said that she feels a lot better than last year, “I believe we have more facilities” to deal with the pandemic.
Vanessa, 22 years old pointed at the crowds. ‘By this time last year,’ she said, ‘I didn’t think it would be like this.’
Paulo Brügger, a banker from Zurich, Switzerland, reflected on a world fed-up with having to endure wave after wave of the virus a year after 2021 dawned with hopes bottled up in vaccine vials.
His optimism was tempered by the world’s new reality that the pandemic would linger into the new year.
‘A lot of people are asking themselves now, ‘Is this going to be like this every year — when we get into the cold season, we have a new variant, and we are back to square one?’’ said Brügger, 55.
Still, he was ‘extremely optimistic’ about 2022, partly because of vaccines and new therapies against COVID-19 and partly, he said with a chuckle, ‘because it can’t be worse than the last two years.’
For a last test before New Year’s Eve, the New Year’s Eve Ball will be illuminated near an ‘2022 Is Here’ sign.
Teddy is a miniature 12-year old mini poodle dressed in 2022 glasses and sitting on West 47th Street before the New Year’s Eve celebrations at Times Square.
The Naked Cowboy is a Times Square fixture that Revelers photograph as they make preparations for tonight’s ball to ring in 2022
As the crowd gets excited, a man pulls down his mask in order to celebrate New Year Eve at Times Square.
As the crowds start to form, revelers sit in Times Square’s social distancing pens as they wait for New Year’s Eve.
Two couples in funky hats and face masks observe the New Year celebrations at Times Square ahead of Friday’s festivities
In Times Square, New Year’s Eve Celebrations are underway. People queue up at the security gate. All revelers must show proof that they have been immunized and cover their faces.
A NYPD officer checks on a New Year’s Eve celebrant in Times Square.
NYPD officers conduct security checks at Times Square. 15,000 revelers will be watching the ball drop in Times Square.
When they are preparing to ring in 2019 at the famous Times Square ball drop, many people wear 2022 glasses.
As they prepare for the New Year, spectators flash the peace sign and don festive hats and face masks.
NYPD Officer stands beside a placard encouraging people not to wear masks to New Year’s Eve Celebrations at Times Square.
One empty Times Square, which will soon be crowded by 15,000 spectators to watch the ball drop in celebration of the new year.
Tonight’s New Year’s Eve Celebrations will be held in Times Square as a result of an Omicron surge.
West 47th Street was packed with people ahead of New Year’s Eve festivities in Times Square. This huge tourist attraction attracts thousands to NYC each year.
NYPD officers guard Times Square in anticipation of the New Year’s Eve festivities expected to draw 15.000 revelers