New Year’s Eve is around the corner, which means it’s almost time for the Times Square New Year’s Eve 2019 celebration. If you want to say goodbye to 2018 and ring in 2019 by watching the ball drop in person, you’ll need to plan ahead.
The Times Square New Year’s Eve event is an iconic celebration, attracting about 1 million people to Times Square to watch the ball drop and more than a billion people tuning in across the world.
Times Square New Year’s Eve 2019 is sure to be an event to remember, as long as you can get through the crowds. Here’s everything you need to know.
When does the Times Square New Year’s Eve 2019 ball drop?
The Times Square New Year’s Eve ball is the star of the show, and it begins its descent down a flagpole at the top of One Times Square, Broadway at 43rd Street, at exactly 11:59 EST on Dec. 31. The ball will be raised to the top of that flagpole at 6 p.m. that day.
The Waterford Crystal New Year’s Eve ball is a sight to behold at 12 feet in diameter and weighing in at 11,875 pounds. The ball is covered with a total of 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles, according to the Times Square Alliance, that range in length from 4 3/4 inches to 5 3/4 inches per side. This year, for the Times Square New Year’s Eve 2019 celebration, workers have added 192 new Waterford Crystal triangles to the ball.
When will people start lining up for the Times Square New Year’s Eve 2019 festivities?
People start lining up for the annual celebration around 3 p.m., according to the Times Square Alliance, but some eager revelers may get there even earlier.
“The best advice we can give is to get there as early as possible,” according to the Alliance. “We cannot predict how quickly the viewing areas will fill up. Prime viewing areas may fill up early in the afternoon.”
Be warned: There are no Port-a-Potties available for Times Square New Year’s Eve 2019 attendees, and if you get there before NYPD barricades have been put in place, you may be moved.
Times Square New Year’s Eve 2019 street closures, access points
Some roads will definitely be closed to make way for the Times Square New Year’s Eve crowds, but there’s no details on when exactly that will start. Here’s what the Times Square Alliance says about traffic shutdowns:
“On December 31, the New York Police Department will begin closing down access to Times Square starting at 38th Street and Broadway, and moving north as revelers arrive. Viewing areas will start at 43rd Street and move north. The exact times that these blocks close to pedestrian and vehicular traffic will depend on when the revelers begin arriving. It is likely that there will be no vehicular traffic on either Broadway or Seventh Avenue as of approximately 3:00 p.m. Vehicles will most likely have difficulty traveling across town after 3:00 p.m. or earlier above 42nd Street and as far north as 59th Street. If you are planning to come to Times Square and join in the festivities, you are advised to enter from Sixth or Eighth Avenue. Your chance of getting a viewing spot near the Ball increases the earlier you arrive. The blocks will be closed off as they fill up northward, street-by-street, as the police deem necessary.”
If you’re determined to be a part of the crowd, here’s how you can get into Times Square on New Year’s Eve:
South of 41st Street
37th & 7th Ave
37th & Broadway
38th & 8th Ave
38th & 6th Ave
North of 43rd street
46th from 8th & 6th Ave (press access)
Emergency Vehicle Route (48th, 5th-9th Ave)
49th from 8th & 6th Ave
52nd from 8th & 6th Ave
54th from 6th Ave
55th from 8th Ave
57th from 7th Ave
57th from Broadway
58th from 8th & 6th Ave
59th from 8th & 6th Ave
39th from Broadway to 6th Ave
41st from 7th Ave directed westbound to 8th Ave
49th from 7th Ave directed eastbound to 6th Ave
50th from Broadway directed westbound to 8th Ave
53rd from Broadway directed westbound to 8th Ave
55th from 7th Ave directed eastbound to 6th Ave
No one will be allowed to cross Broadway/7th Avenue once the streets have been closed, according to the Alliance, so if you’re headed somewhere specific east of Broadway/7th Avenue, you’ll have to enter at 6th Avenue. If your destination is west of Broadway/7th Avenue, you must enter at 8th Avenue.
Times Square New Year’s Eve 2019 MTA info
The New York City subway is your best bet for getting as close to the Times Square New Year’s Eve 2019 action as possible, but you’ll still have to hoof it some of the way there.
The 1, 2, 3, 7, A, B, C, D, E, F, M, N, Q, R, W, and S shuttle trains all service the Times Square area.
Revelers should avoid using the 42 St-Times Square subway complex, according to the MTA, since they may not be allowed to exit onto the street. Also, the northbound platform at 50th St for the 1 train, as well as the north and southbound platforms at 49 St for the N, Q, R and W will be closed on New Year’s Eve from noon until shortly after midnight.
Due to street closures, you should avoid taking a bus to the Times Square New Year’s Eve 2019 event. The most severely impacted bus routes, which will be subject to reroutes, are: M5, M7, M10, M20, M31, M42, M50, M57, and M104. Regular overnight bus service will resume as streets reopen after midnight.
To help you get back home on New Year’s Day after your celebrations, the Metro-North Railroad is operating 48 extra trains departing Grand Central and the Long Island Rail Road is operating 19 extra trains departing Penn Station and Atlantic Terminal, Brooklyn between midnight and 5:30 a.m.
After the Times Square New Year’s Eve 2019 festivities end, subway trains on lines in and around Times Square will run every 8 to 12 minutes as late as 3 a.m., and the 42nd Street shuttle S will operate all night.
Before you head out for the night, check out the Weekender for details on any last-minute New York City subway service changes or delays.
Times Square New Year’s Eve 2019 security
As always, security will be tight around the event, and everyone attending the Times Square New Year’s Eve festivities will be searched at the entry points.
Knapsacks, large bags and umbrellas are not allowed, according to the Times Square alliance, and neither is alcohol, as public drinking is illegal.
Plainclothes police officers will be deployed throughout the area and as part of the security efforts, officials will remove newspaper vending machines and all waste receptacles on Broadway and 7th Ave. from 34th to 59th streets.
How to watch the Times Square New Year’s Eve 2019 celebration?
If you don’t want to join the crowds in Manhattan, you can still watch the New Year’s celebration live.
To watch the ball drop on TV, you can tune in to Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest, which airs on ABC beginning at 8 p.m EST; NBC’s New Year’s Eve hosted by Carson Daly, which begins at 10 p.m.; Fox’s New Year’s Eve with Steve Harvey at 8 p.m. and Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen on CNN, which starts at 8 p.m.