Another iconic holiday tradition will look significantly different this year, amid the COVID-19 pandemic:

Organizers just announced that the annual New Year's Eve ball drop in Times Square will be "virtual" on December 31, 2020.

There will be some small, scaled-back live events associated with the event, officials say, but it doesn't sound like those will be open to the public. In a typical year, hundreds of thousands of revelers pack into Times Square to mark the annual event. So it was a foregone conclusion that a large event wouldn't be happening this year, amid the COVID-19 pandemic:

“One thing that will never change is the ticking of time and the arrival of a New Year at midnight on December 31st,” said Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance. “But this year there will be significant new and enhanced virtual, visual and digital offerings to complement whatever limited live entertainment or experiences – still in development — will take place in Times Square.”

This is similar to an announcement made by New York City officials regarding the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, which won't be open to the public. However, some floats will film portions of the parade for television this year. 

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