Mayor Byron W. Brown and event organizers for the annual New Year’s Eve Buffalo Ball Drop announced that the countdown to 2021 will take place this year, but with some changes in format. The countdown to midnight on December 31st, only three days away, will take place virtually and safely on 7 ABC as part of Best of Buffalo Strong New Year’s Eve Special. This will be the first time in over 3 decades that the December 31st event will not have a crowd outside the Iskalo Electric Tower at Roosevelt Plaza, due to COVID-19 infection-rate concerns. However, musical performances, surprise announcements and interviews are part of the New Year’s Eve lineup. M&TBank is again the Presenting Sponsor. Deluxe media sponsors include Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, AAA of Western and Central New York, and Molina Healthcare.
Mayor Brown stated, “In a year of cancellations, there’s one party that can’t be postponed. Buffalo’s Virtual New Year’s Eve Ball Drop on 7 ABC will be a great place for everyone to gather safely to celebrate the start of the New Year. I want to thank our many great partners and sponsors for teaming up with the City of Buffalo and Police Athletic League of Buffalo to bring the countdown to 2021 virtually, enabling us to continue a long-standing tradition for many families in our community.”
“Buffalo Place Inc. and our Board of Directors are pleased to once again partner with Mayor Byron W. Brown, Buffalo Police Athletic League, WKBW-TV, and Iskalo Development on the 33rd Annual Buffalo Ball Drop,” said Michael T. Schmand, Executive Director of Buffalo Place Inc. “Thank you to our Presenting Sponsor, M&T Bank, for working with us to support the re-envisioned New Year’s celebration. We look forward to a wonderful presentation of the kick-off to 2021 in the heart of Downtown Buffalo.”
C. Michael Zabel, Group Vice President, Public Relations, at M&T Bank, stated, “It’s finally time to drop the ball on 2020. It’s been a difficult and challenging year, but we’re confident that—together—we can and will recover, rebuild and regain our momentum! And we’re optimistic that, this time next year, we’ll be gathering under the Electric Tower to celebrate a successful new year together in person!”
Iskalo Development is pleased, once again, to host the 33rd consecutive Ball Drop at the historic Electric Tower”, stated Paul B. Iskalo, Founder & CEO of Iskalo Development Corp. “The Ball Drop is a long-standing and important Buffalo tradition. This year, even more so than in years past, we hope that it will serve as a harbinger of better things to come for the residents of our great city who endured so much this past year.”
To make sure everyone can celebrate safely, residents and visitors are being asked to stay home this New Year’s Eve and watch the ball drop on 7 ABC as part of The Best of Buffalo Strong New Year’s Eve Special. The 7 Eyewitness News Team of Keith Radford and Ashley Rowe will host the New Year’s Eve Virtual celebration, beginning at 8 PM on 7 PLUS with a look back at the positive stories that inspired us in 2020. Live coverage of the Buffalo Ball Drop begins on 7 ABC at 11 PM.
Marc Jaromin, Vice President and General Manager of WKBW-TV 7 Eyewitness News, stated, “This year’s Ball Drop may be virtual, but we promise to bring home a New Year’s Eve celebration to remember. Live, beginning at 11 PM, Keith Radford and Ashley Rowe will set the stage with exclusive performances from our very own Goo
Goo Dolls, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and a list of artists who pre-recorded live at the Paul Robeson Theatre at the African American Cultural Center. We’ll also have spotlight on celebrity shout outs, a look back at some of this year’s better moments, as well as a few surprises, all culminating with the live and exclusive 2021 Buffalo Strong Ball Drop!”
This year’s entertainment sponsors include Modern, Uniland and the African American Cultural Center. Performers include, The Goo Goo Dolls, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Vocalist DeeAnn DiMeo, Keyboardist Rod Bonner, Trumpeter Jim Bohm, Saxophonist Will Holton, with touring drummer Daniel Powell, bassist Cal Parmer and singer/keyboardist Brandon Sherman Josey. The Buffalo Ball Drop benefits youth in our community who participate in programming via the Police Athletic League of Buffalo.
PAL Executive Director Nekia Kemp stated, “The Police Athletic League of Buffalo, Inc. and the PAL Board of Directors would like to thank the generous Sponsors of this year’s NYEBall Drop along with the caring citizens of Buffalo and Western New York for supporting this critical fundraising initiative for PAL sports and enrichment programs that will help keep our City’s youth healthy, active, and engaged in learning activities in the New Year. We are honored to be the recipient of the proceeds that will be raised for Buffalo PAL on NYE! We invite everyone to please tune into 7 Eyewitness News and enjoy watching the Ball Drop virtual show!”
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The Police Athletic League of Buffalo, Inc. is proud to celebrate over sixty years of providing youth (ages 5-21) from the City of Buffalo and neighboring communities with quality educational. athletic, and cultural programming that takes at safe city-wide recreation facilities with nurturing mentors in partnership with local law enforcement.
The mission of the Buffalo PAL is to help foster social/emotional growth in children and adolescents by providing them with structured academic programs, athletic leagues, sports clinics, camps, field trips, and cultural activities that take place during the school year and summertime.