New York City is one of the most popular destinations in the world for a New Year’s Eve celebration. From witnessing the ball drop to watching some of the most famous stars perform their latest music, Times Square provides one of the most spectacular locations in the world to ring in the new year.
That being said, a lot of planning goes into a Times Square New Year’s celebration. Between navigating the busy crowds to knowing where to catch the top performances, things can get complicated.
Whether you’re looking to attend the ball-drop in person or are interested in simply watching on TV, we’ve pulled together the most important things to know about New Year’s Eve in Times Square for 2018.
1. Mariah Carey Will Return to Times Square
Last year, Mariah Carey had a few hiccups when it came to her New Year’s Eve performance. The “All I Want For Christmas Is You” singer said that technical difficulties (specifically, an ear piece that wasn’t working) were the reason behind the problems last year. At one point, Carey stopped singing onstage. Now, she’s back to redeem herself.
A joint statement from Carey reads, “We can all agree that last year didn’t go exactly as planned and we are thrilled to move forward together to provide America with an incredible night of music and celebration on ‘Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2018.’ See you in Times Square!”
2. Get There As Early As Possible
The Times Square official website states that most viewing areas will fill up in the early afternoon, so the best you can do is get there as early as possible.
The ball will be raised at 6pm EST and will begin its 60-second descent beginning at 11:59pm EST.
Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rocking Eve 2018 will begin broadcasting on December 31 at 8pm ET on ABC.
The following hotels and restaurants will have a view of the Ball:
– Renaissance New York
– DoubleTree Guest Suites
– Marriott Marquis
– Bubba Gump Shrimp Company
– Olive Garden
– R Lounge
– Novotel New York Times Square
– The Knickerbocker
3. You Don’t Need Tickets to Watch the Ball Drop
You don’t need tickets to attend the event. The celebration comes on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Street closures will make it difficult to maneuver your way into the city. Access to Times Square will close down on December 31, and move north as viewers arrive. The New York Times website reads, “The exact times that these blocks close to pedestrian and vehicular traffic will depend on when the revelers begin arriving.”
The best way to enter Times Square will be from Sixth or Eighth Avenue.
4. The Performances Will Start Around 8pm
An exciting lineup will be performing this year. Britney Spears will perform hits like “Toxic” and “Work Bitch”. Tonight marks her first time hitting the New Year’s Eve stage since 2002. Other performers include:
– Camila Cabello
– Nick Jonas
Ciara will be hosting the Times Square broadcast, and performers on the West Coast include Kane Brown, BTS, Kelly Clarkson, Fitz & The Tantrums, Shawn Mendes, Charlie Puth, Portugal The Man, Alessia Cara, Zedd, G-Eazy, Halsey, Khalid, Marshmello, Bebe Rexha, Florida Georgia Line, and Hailee Steinfeld.
5. There Are No Public Bathrooms
Perhaps the hardest thing to plan for is the bathroom situation– there are no public restrooms in Times Square for New Year’s.
Alternatives may not be easy to come by, either. The Times Square website FAQ page asks, “Will there be portable public restrooms available?” “No. There are no portable restrooms in Times Square during the celebration.” Your best bet will be to check out the restaurants in the area and see if they are opening their bathrooms to New Years viewers. Check out these restaurants near Times Square here.
Public drinking is illegal in New York City, so alcohol and champagne will not be allowed.