Even though all of the Broadway shows have closed down for the holiday, you can still celebrate the New Year Broadway-style by tuning into the NBC network’s special “Countdown with Carson Daly” starting at 10pm on New Year’s Eve, December 31st. The Broadway cast of the Tony Award-winning mega-hit revival of the 1960s hippie musical Hair will be participating in the on-camera festivities during the broadcast of “Countdown”. Also performing on the program are major music stars such as hip-hop artist Jay-Z, pop-punk band Green Day, and Rihanna. Although Hair canceled its evening performance for New Year’s Eve, it will be back on its regular schedule as of tomorrow night when the show has its regular 8pm Friday night performance on New Year’s Day.
Those of you who enjoy late-night reveling, close proximity to millions of other people, and staying up really, really late in the freezing cold will be in your element tonight–it’s New Year’s Eve, and the biggest party in town is in New York City’s Times Square.
Streets start getting roped off as early as 2:00 pm, and partiers often start gathering in the late afternoon to ensure a prime spot.
Festivities continue throughout the evening, with musical performances, opening ceremonies at 6:00 pm, and handouts of hats and balloons given out to revelers starting a little after 7:00 pm. Performers and celebrity guests this year include Jennifer Lopez, Daughtry, Taddy Porter, and Anderson Cooper. (Now there’s an eclectic mix).
At 11:59 pm Mayor Bloomberg and a special guest will push the button that signifies the dropping of the Waterford crystal ball. This year, the ball has been redesigned to include 300 Waterford crystal triangles woven into a Celtic knot–they are etched with ribbons, angel wings and flames to indicate the theme “Let There Be Courage.” The new lights, for those of you on green-watch, replace halogen bulbs, last three times longer, and use about the same amount of energy as it take to light up two regular ovens.
At midnight, following the dramatic countdown, confetti is released, shouting and kissing of your neighbor ensues, and we welcome 2010. More than 1 ton of confetti will be dropped.
And for those of you who were wondering, the ball-drop tradition goes back to 1907, and the ball tonight will drop 70 feet in 60 seconds. It weighs almost 12,000 pounds.
Happy New Year!
As preparations for the festivities in New York’s Times Square get underway for New Year’s Eve, it’s time to start some planning of your own—especially if you plan to join the hordes ringing in the New Year in the heart of New York City.
First off, why not put your resolutions to paper (you do have resolutions, right?)–and add to the confetti that will rain down in Times Square at the same time. Write down a resolution, a hope, a wish, whatever you like–on a piece of confetti–and add it to the Wishing Wall at the Times Square Information Center (7th Avenue between 46th and 47th Streets.) All the confetti will be gathered on Thursday to add to the growing pile of midnight-ready pieces of paper. (You can also submit it online at timessquarenyc.org; it will be printed out and added to the pile. Some New Year’s wishes from last year can be viewed on line.)
While you’re at it, save on that bottle of champagne by checking out the new “Clink Clink” iphone app. Waterford helped design this virtual celebration, which lets two people toast in the New Year with pictures of Waterford champagne flutes and cocktail glasses on the screens. (No alcohol is allowed in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, so you can get your toast in–and have a clear head when you leave as well.)
So get ready–and start counting down to the countdown!
As with Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day bring many schedule changes for Broadway shows. Apparently the shows are expecting that few people will want to ring in the new year inside a theater because nearly every Broadway show has canceled its evening performance on December 31. However, a few of the more popular musicals such as Jersey Boys and The Lion King have added a matinee performance for that day instead. On Friday, January 1, New Year’s Day itself, the majority of Broadway shows are still doing their usual 8pm performance, but there are still a few that have canceled that performance. So if you have any plans of taking in a Broadway musical or play around New Year’s, be sure to check the schedules of the shows you’re interested in ahead of time, to make sure that you haven’t set your sights on a show that won’t actually be playing.
New Year’s Eve in New York City has gone green.
This year, the numbers in the giant “2010” sign in Times Square will be lit by light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDs) instead of halogen bulbs. The one and the zero for the sign arrived by pedicab–also green, thank you very much–this past week.
The new bulbs are nine watts instead of 40 watts, as they were in the past; they will use about 80 percent less energy.
The 2010 sign is on display at the Duracell Smart Power Lab for one week, through next Wednesday, December 23. (It’s at 1540 Broadway, in Times Square; check out their website, powerlab.com, for more information.) Visitors can have a wow-look-at-that experience while they’re there; they can push pedals that will create energy that’s converted to battery power that will light the numbers as the ball drops. (Yes, it sounds like a nursery rhyme.) The lab is open Sunday-Wednesday from 10 am to 9 pm; and Thursday-Saturday, from 10 am to 11 pm, with special hours on holidays, so be sure to check.
Got all that? What it means is that the energy created by people pedaling a series of “Rovers” will be stored in the batteries to power the sign–approximately 32,000-watt hours are needed.
When you’re done, you can have your picture taken with a replica of the 2010 numbers. The real numbers will be placed atop the ball at One Times Square to await the massive New Year’s Eve celebration.
Considering the rush in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, this may be a better alternative than waiting in the cold for hours–and you can go green at the same time.