NYE Broadcasts 2021

The first celebration of New Years Eve in Times Square was in 1904. The first “ball drop” at Times Square was in 1907. This will be the first New Years Eve in which there will not be a large crowd celebrating in Times Square. However, the entertainment industry wouldn’t dare, for their own sake, to leave celebrators high and dry. The show will go on. The ball will drop at midnight.

The official Times Square New Year’s Eve organizers, Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment have created a six-hour commercial free webcast. The event is closed to the public and will follow New York state health protocols. It will feature Jonathan Bennett returning as the host. Performances will include Andra Day, Gloria Gaynor, The Waffle Crew and the USO Show Troupe.

Other elements of the broadcast will include Jennifer Lopez, Billy Porter, Cyndi Lauper, Jimmie Allen and Machine Gun Kelly for ABC’s Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest (in its 49th year) and Anitta and Pitbull for Univision’s ¡Feliz 2021.

Alcohol Free Champagne Toast for New Year’s Eve

Although this recipe is almost certainly much, much sweeter than all but your sweetest champagne, the texture will scratch the itch for those that want a toast but don’t want to indulge in alcohol. For those who are fans of sweet punches this will make a fun New Year’s Eve alternative.

The recipe is simple, stir and combine the first two ingredients in an appropriate container. Serve in champagne flutes for authenticity. Add raspberries. Frozen grapes can also be used to keep drinks cold longer.  Experiment with different clear sodas or ginger ales to perfect the flavor to your taste. For pink champagne add a half a tsp of grenadine to each glass. To cut the sweet, consider substituting in some plain soda water.

2 Liter Bottle of well-chilled ginger ale.

½ can of frozen white grape juice concentrate, thawed.

1 small container raspberries, cleaned and drained.


½ tsp grenadine mixed in glass for “pink” champagne.

Frozen grapes to keep drinks cold longer.

Substitute 1 liter of plain soda water for 1 liter ginger ale to cut the sweetness.

A Short Collection of Old Fashioned New Year’s Eve

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” -Edith Lovejoy Pierce

“May the New Year bring summer in its wake.“

“Then sing, young hearts that are full of cheer,
With never a thought of sorrow;
The old goes out, but the glad young year
Comes merrily in tomorrow.” -Emily Miller

“In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship, but never in want.” -traditional Irish toast

“May the new year help to make us old.“

“New Year’s eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights.” -Hamilton Wright Mabie

“Here’s health to those I love and wealth to those who love me.”

“May the New Year grant you
the eye of a blacksmith on a nail
the good humor of a girl at a dance
the strong hand of a priest on his parish.”

“May all your troubles during the coming year be as short as your New Year’s resolutions.”

“May this sweetest old time greeting
Heavily laden with good cheers
Bring content, and peace and plenty
Enough to last through all the Year.”

“May you never lie, cheat or drink. But if you must lie, lie in each other’s arms. If you must cheat, cheat death. And if you must drink, drink with all of us because we love you.”






Cleveland Christmas History

A Christmas Story, directed by Bob Clark, was released a week before Thanksgiving in1983 with no great expectations, but has slowly grown into a Christmas cult classic. In fact, the movie would have never been made had Bob Clark’s 1982 raunchy teen comedy Porky’s not done so well. A Christmas Story’s success, however, is due in equal parts to the plot’s nostalgia (sometimes sickeningly sweet) and dark holiday humor making it feel both real and hyperbole simultaneously. Though set in the late 30’s or early 40’s the film so well captures the tropes of an American Christmas the film continues to age well.

Heavily based on the short fiction of Jean Shepard, many of the famous scenes come from anecdotes in Shepard’s collections In God We Trust, All Others Must Pay Cash and Wanda Hicky’s Night of Golden Memories. Shepard worked with Bob Clark and Leigh Brown to create the screen play. Shepard stars as the films narrator “adult Ralphie”.

After ending scouts to many cities, Bob Clark settled on Cleveland Ohio as the primary shooting location for the film. Clevelanders were so excited about the film many of them donated the use of their antique cars for the film.

Higbee’s Department Store, located in Downtown Cleveland until 1992, was one famous location for three important scenes. The opening scene were Ralphie first sees the BB gun in an elaborate window display of toys. The parade scene was shot outside Higbee’s in Public Square. Finally , the famous “visting Santa” scene inside Higbee’s were Ralphie and his little brother have a misadventure visiting Santa. Highbee’s was known for its elaborate Christmas decorating that catered to children, with a live Santa centerpiece, and actually kept some of the set, including the slide and used them for many years.

The exterior shots and some interior shots of the family’s home were done at a house in Tremont on Cleveland’s West Side. This house has been restored and turned into a museum honoring the film’s cult status and is open regularly for touring. The Chinese Restaurant where the family has duck for Christmas because the neighbor’s hound dogs ruined their turkey also still exists, in a more modern form, not far from the home.

Whether you have or have not seen this now classic film, its worth an annual rewatch cuddled up with the family on a cold night sometime before Christmas.

All About That White Christmas

Even for those of us that typically loathe snow we can all agree that a little snow on the ground on Christmas morning makes the day a little more special. Unfortunately, in Ohio a white Christmas is always a crap shoot.

In a year where a white Christmas might mean a little more to everyone what are the chances we will get one?

One famously trust source on the topic, the Farmer’s Almanac, released its Christmas weekend forecast. For Ohio they summed up the forecast as “increasingly cloudy skies for the Christmas holiday weekend.”

If we don’t get it on the day there may be snow between the 20th and 23rd of December and perhaps before New Year’s Eve.

Many cultural critics link our national obsession with a white Christmas to several sources. One such source is Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol. This novella, originally published by Chapman & Hall in 1843 in London during a time when British society was evaluating and changing their Christmas traditions. Dickens’ classic holiday ghost story depicts a perpetually snow-covered London on and around Christmas day.

Additionally, the now classic “White Christmas” written by Irving Berlin and sung, originally, by Bing Crosby sits proudly among one of the best-selling singles of all time. The song is pure nostalgia whose lyrics focus on what else but a white Christmas “…like the ones I used to know…” This cultural artifact undoubtedly also has had a great influence on our Christmas snow obsession.