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New Year's Eve in Times Square: how to get there, what to take with you and other important information

'29.12.2023'

Alina Prikhodko

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There are only a few days left until the iconic balloon launch in Times Square on New Year's Eve. For those planning to attend the famous Times Square Ball show in the heart of New York, ABC7NY I collected all the useful information.

The celebration will officially begin around 18:00 pm, with the balloon beginning its one-minute descent at 23:59 am to herald the start of the new year.

Do I need tickets?

No tickets are needed for the annual celebration - it is a free event open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Public viewing spaces are not for sale.

At many restaurants and hotels in Times Square organize parties, but tickets must be purchased in advance.

Who speaks

Rita Ora will perform alongside an all-star lineup of artists including LL Cool J, Megan Thee Stallion, Jelly Roll, Paul Anka, Flo Rida, Sabrina Carpenter and Tyla.

Additionally, “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest” will feature performances across the country.

What you should and should not take with you

Dress warmly and remember that you will be spending long periods of time outdoors in potentially cold temperatures.

Prepare thoroughly: wear several layers of clothing, including windproof and water-repellent clothing, as well as socks, gloves and a good hat. Please note that all bags will be searched. Prohibited items include:

  • backpacks
  • big bags
  • umbrellas
  • folding chairs
  • picnic blankets
  • large coolers
  • alcohol (public drinking is illegal in New York and police will confiscate it).

Security

The NYPD is beefing up security amid heightened tensions over the Middle East crisis and heightened terrorism alerts. Mayor Eric Adams laid out a plan to ensure the safety of vacationers, calling it a “true Herculean task” to maintain safety during the annual spectacle.

On the subject: Top 10 restaurants where you can celebrate New Year's Eve in New York

As a former police officer, the mayor knows New York City cops will have a finely tuned strategy for policing a loud, crowded party, but unlike other years, the war in the Middle East and the nearly 500 protests that have taken place since Oct. 7 added another cause for concern.

“You are seeing a small group of people who have become part of the protests. They're really trying to get the crowd going. We cannot allow this and we cannot tolerate this,” Adams said.

Public toilets

Please note that there will be no public restrooms in Times Square during the celebration.

Street closures

On December 31, the NYPD will begin closing access to Times Square starting at 43rd Street and Broadway. Beginning at 04:00, Seventh Avenue will be closed to traffic from 42nd to 48th Streets, and side streets from 43rd to 48th Streets will be closed from Sixth to Eighth Avenues. At approximately 11 a.m., Seventh Avenue and Broadway will be closed to traffic from 38th to 59th streets.

Pedestrian access points to viewing areas:

  • 49th from Sixth and Eighth Avenues
  • 52th from Sixth and Eighth Avenues
  • 56th from Sixth and Eighth Avenues

Best way to get to Times Square

Due to traffic jams and street closures, the best way to get to Times Square is by public transport. Trains 1, 2, 3, 7, A, B, C, D, E, F, M, N, Q, R, W and S serve the Times Square area, but be aware that some do not operate in on days off. The latest transportation information can always be obtained by calling the MTA at 511 or on the website mta.info.

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