This year, gathering in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, or anywhere else, is off the books. As much as you’d probably like to celebrate the end of 2020, the coronavirus doesn’t care about the Gregorian calendar: As long as there are people kissing at midnight, yelling, drinking, singing, hugging, and gathering indoors unmasked, it will continue its spread well into 2021.
So this year, hopefully, celebrations will be subdued, small, and within households, or at least subdued, small, socially distanced and masked.
So how safe, and fun, can your city be on New Year’s Eve?
To determine the best cities for New Year’s, WalletHub compared the 100 most populated U.S. cities for their safety and accessibility and their entertainment and food.
Safety and accessibility includes factors such as: average per-capita COVID deaths and cases in the past week, the city’s walkability, traffic congestion, neighborhood security, DUI and pedestrian fatalities, car theft rate, and forecasted precipitation.
Food and entertainment includes: legality of fireworks, Google search interest for “New Year’s Eve Celebration”, the availability of highly-rated takeout or delivery food, and the cost of alcoholic beverages and restaurant food.
Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for New Year’s partiers.
Based on WalletHub’s ranking, here are the 15 least safe cities to celebrate the new year, followed by the 15 safest. This ranking is based on the safety factor only, but we included the overall ranking and food/entertainment rank, too.