Ring in the new year with fun and festive virtual celebrations

By Holly Jenvey

New Year’s celebrations may look different this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun and enjoy various festivities. Check out these virtual events that offer a safer way to ring in the new year!

Santa Monica Ferris Wheel Live, 11:30 p.m. to midnight

Instead of coming down to the Santa Monica Pier to participate in its special countdown programming, you can stream it online starting at 11:30 p.m. on December 31. The Ferris wheel will welcome 2021 with 174,000 LED lights and colorful displays, fun designs and a 60-second countdown.
It will also spell out “Happy New Year” in 16 different languages.

Stream on Pacific Park’s social media platforms or visit pacpark.com

Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2021, 5 p.m.

Celebrate the new year with many rocking performances by artists including Jennifer Lopez, Miley Cyrus, Cyndi Lauper and more. Host Ryan Seacrest will be joined by co-hosts Lucy Hale, Billy Porter and Ciara. The party is streaming from New York City and Los Angeles. Tune in to ABC at 5 p.m. PST to be a part of the fun.

For more information, visit newyearsrockineve.com

New Year’s Eve Live, 5 p.m.

Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen will be hosting New Year’s Eve Live at 5 p.m. PST for CNN and saying goodbye to 2020. Then at 9:30 p.m. PST, CNN anchors Brooke Baldwin and Don Lemon will keep the party going. The program will host performances and appearances from John Mayer, Snoop Dogg, Patti LaBelle, Carole Baskin and many others. Viewers can participate by sharing their New Year’s greeting using #CNNNYE, which may appear on the bottom of the screen during the program.

For more information, visit cnnpressroom.blogs/cnn.com

Grand Park NYE LA, 11 p.m to 12 midnight

Grand Park is virtually turning up the heat this New Year’s Eve with its 8th annual celebration. Grammy-nominated DJ and producer Steve Aoki will host this year, and artists will include Mexican R&B quintet Aquihayaquihay along with Venezuelan singer Andrekza. Rap singer Bia will also appear as a special guest and DJ2Deep from LA’s notable Gasolina Party will be mixing reggaeton beats during sets. Aoki will close the night with a 3D digital countdown from yU+co.

For more information, visit nyela.grandparkla.org

Hello 2021, 7:30 p.m.

YouTube is ringing in 2021 with different channels and performances from all over the world. Set to premiere in the United States, United Kingdom, Korea, Japan and India, YouTube will bring all-time favorites to your screen. “Hello 2021: Americas” will be hosted by Mexican YouTube blogger Juanpa Zurita and actress Storm Reid. They will be joined by celebrity guests including Demi Lovato, Matthew McConaughey, RuPaul, Emma Chamberlain and the D’Amelio family, and will also feature musical performances from Dua Lipa, J Balvin and more.

The event can be streamed on the YouTube Originals channel

First Night Monterey, 3 p.m. to midnight

First Night Monterey is teaming up with other First Night organizations to host virtual performances by different artists in jazz, classical, blues, rock, samba and folk genres. Artists include Heartstrings, Dirty Cello, Black Irish, Fields of Eden with Kiki Wow, MC Lars, SpectorDance, Art, and KIDS NIGHT OUT. There will also be various activities and youth performances as well.

For more information, visit firstnightmonterey.org

Des Moines Symphony Virtual New Year’s Eve Celebration, 6-8 p.m.

Enjoy a free virtual concert presented by the Des Moines Symphony featuring artists from across the world. Performers include Leslie Odom Jr., Renee Elise Goldsberry, Michael Cavanaugh and more–along with Des Moines Symphony musicians. Hosts Kevin and Molly Cooney will be toasting to the new year and guests will share NYE memories. The event will also be hosting a fundraiser to support their organization.

For tickets, visit dmsymphony.org

5 tips for celebrating NYE at home:

• Virtual dinner and drinks. Even though you might not be able to get together with friends and family in person, get dressed up for a virtual dinner party then enjoy a toast together at midnight!

• Decorate. Make your home look festive with streamers, crackers, balloons and more.

• Order in from restaurants. Support local businesses by ordering a to-go meal from your favorite restaurant for NYE dinner.

• Create a photo slideshow or “Best of the Year” list. Compile your favorite books, songs, photos and so forth from 2020 and share your best memories with family and friends.

• Play games. There are plenty of fun games you can play at home and on Zoom such as board games, trivia questions, as well as writing down and guessing each other’s resolutions.