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Ring in the New Year with the Iconic Times Square Ball Drop: How to Watch from Anywhere

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Every year, millions of people around the world gather to watch the iconic New Year's Eve ball drop in Times Square, New York City. This tradition has been going on for 120 years, making it a universal symbol of welcoming the New Year.[0] The event is organized by the Times Square Alliance, and it draws in one million people who brave the cold weather to witness the ball drop in person, while another billion tune in from around the world to watch it live.[1]

The festivities in Times Square kick off at 6pm, when the six-ton crystal ball is lit and raised up.[2] At exactly 11.59pm, the ball starts its one-minute drop, accompanied by cheers and excitement from the massive crowd.[2] The ball is released from the top of One Times Square, and it illuminates the numerals representing the upcoming year as the clock strikes midnight.[3]

In addition to the live event, there are several ways to watch the ball drop from the comfort of your own home. The Times Square Alliance offers a free live stream of the event, starting with the lighting and raising of the ball at 6pm.[4] The countdown to midnight begins 60 seconds before the ball drop.[5] This live stream can be accessed on the Times Square Alliance's official website.[6]

For those who prefer to watch on television, there are several options available. ABC airs “Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest” starting at 8pm ET on December 31.[7] The broadcast features performances from popular artists and culminates with the ball drop in Times Square. NBC also provides live coverage of the event, starting at 7pm ET, which can be streamed on their website or through various streaming platforms.

Another option is CBS's “New Year's Eve Live: Nashville's Big Bash,” hosted by Elle King and Rachel Smith.[7] This celebration features performances from top musicians and can be watched on CBS stations or streamed on Paramount+.[8] Additionally, CNN airs “New Year's Eve Live With Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen” at 8pm ET, which can be streamed on their website or through live TV streaming services.[9]

For those who want to experience the ball drop in person, there are designated access points to the viewing area along Sixth and Eighth avenues, including 49th, 52nd, and 56th streets.[6] However, it's important to note that the area will be heavily secured by law enforcement due to the potential for protests and other security concerns. The NYPD has implemented strict security measures, including road closures and checkpoints, to ensure the safety of attendees.

In recent years, there have been protests organized by anti-Israel groups that aim to disrupt the celebrations. This year is no exception, as a protest titled “Shut It Down! For Palestine” is scheduled to take place near Columbus Circle, the site of CNN's New York City headquarters.[10] The NYPD is prepared for any potential security threats and has deployed additional officers, drones, and other security measures to monitor the situation.

Despite the potential for disruptions, the New Year's Eve ball drop in Times Square remains a highly anticipated event. It symbolizes the end of one year and the beginning of another, a time for reflection, celebration, and hope. Whether you choose to watch it live, on television, or through a live stream, the ball drop in Times Square is a tradition that brings people together from all over the world to celebrate the start of a new year.

0. “Everything to know about Times Square New Year's Eve” NBC New York, 27 Dec. 2023, https://www.nbcnewyork.com/entertainment/holidays/times-square-new-years-eve-ball-drop-performances-how-to-watch/4982176

1. “Times Square gears up for 2024 with millions planning to ring in the new year” FOX 5 New York, 31 Dec. 2023, https://www.fox5ny.com/news/times-square-gears-up-for-2024-with-millions-planning-to-ring-in-the-new-year

2. “Networks plan for the worst this NYE in NYC and are prepared to pull A-list hosts – as anti-Israel protesters” Daily Mail, 31 Dec. 2023, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12914343/Networks-plan-worst-NYE-NYC-protesters-threaten-derail.html

3. “What to know about spending New Year's Eve in Times Square” 1010 WINS, 31 Dec. 2023, https://www.audacy.com/1010wins/news/local/what-to-know-about-spending-new-years-eve-in-times-square

4. “Your 2024 guide to NYC New Year's Eve ball drop countdown in Times Square” CBS News, 30 Dec. 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/newyork/news/nyc-new-years-eve-ball-drop-times-square-2024-guide/

5. “New Year's Eve live stream 2024: How to watch the NYC ball drop” Hartford Courant, 31 Dec. 2023, https://www.courant.com/2023/12/31/new-years-eve-live-stream-2024-how-to-watch-the-nyc-ball-drop-times-square-performances-free/

6. “Where to watch the New Year’s Eve 2023 ball drop and festive performances” NBC News, 31 Dec. 2023, https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/watch-new-years-eve-2023-ball-drop-festive-performances-rcna131332

7. “How to watch Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve 2024 without cable, where to stream free” AL.com, 31 Dec. 2023, https://www.al.com/tv/2023/12/how-to-watch-dick-clarks-new-years-rockin-eve-2024-without-cable-where-to-stream-free.html

8. “Who's performing at tonight's Times Square ball drop to ring in New Year's Eve 2024?” CBS News, 31 Dec. 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/times-square-performers-new-years-eve-ball-drop-2024

9. “How to watch the 2024 New Year's Eve Ball Drop tonight” Yahoo Entertainment, 31 Dec. 2023, https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/how-to-watch-the-2024-new-years-eve-ball-drop-tonight-232353595.html

10. “NYPD Battens Down the Hatches Ahead of Expected NYE Protests” The Daily Beast, 31 Dec. 2023, https://www.thedailybeast.com/nypd-battens-down-the-hatches-ahead-of-expected-nye-protests

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