After a year nearly everyone was ready to say goodbye to, the arrival of New Year's Eve 2020 was punctuated by the cancellation of many traditional celebrations due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

And while the pandemic still lingers, much has changed in the past year with the arrival of vaccines. New Year's Eve in many places will still be different than years past, with many requiring proof of vaccinations or negative tests. But, the revelry will return to several cities ready to welcome in 2022 with the spirit of Auld Lang Syne. Here's a look at four cities known for their New Year's celebrations and how they're planning to welcome back guests to ring in 2022.

New York City’s Times Square traditional New Year’s Eve countdown

Famous worldwide as the countdown to the new year, New York City’s Times Square will welcome back revelers for its annual Ball Drop. 

Partygoers 5 and older will need to show proof of full vaccination with a World Health Organization (WHO)-approved COVID-19 vaccine to enter the festivities. Those under the age of 5 will need to be accompanied by a vaccinated adult and wear a face covering. Organizers haven’t released who will perform at this year’s event but expect it to be a star-studded list of musical artists. 

Read More: 12 things to know about spending the holidays in NYC

Viva Las Vegas’ live entertainment 

If you’ve missed live events during the pandemic, Vegas is another place where the stars will shine to welcome in 2022. 

Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Lizzo, Maroon 5, the Chainsmokers, Usher, Tiësto and Zedd are among the big names who have New Year’s Eve performances scheduled at venues on the Vegas strip. Head downtown, and you’ll find Fremont Street rewinding back with a celebration featuring the 80s and 90s as it counts down to 2022.

Prefer to see live sports? The city will host the Las Vegas Bowl on December 30 and Vegas’ NHL team the Golden Knights (which can only be described as a hockey game that breaks out in between a Vegas show). Keep in mind many of these venues do require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to enter. 

Read more: The 8 best parks to visit in Las Vegas

New Orleans parade and party in the French Quarter

There’s always a party in the French Quarter of New Orleans. For New Year’s Eve, the celebration will start in the early afternoon with the Allstate Sugar Bowl Parade.

The parade kicks off at 2:30 pm at Elysian Fields Avenue and Decatur Street. In that spirit of Mardi Gras New Orleans is known for, the parade will roll through the French Quarter on its way to Canal Street. In the evening, the party continues in Jackson Square where  New Orleans puts its own spin on the countdown with a Fleur-de-lis dropping to welcome in 2022. 

Read more: How to celebrate Christmas time in New Orleans

TOPSHOT-US-NEW YEAR-KEY WEST
Expect a celebration in Key West, Florida © AFP via Getty Images

Key West's quirky countdowns on Duval Street return

In Key West, Florida, for the past 24 years Gary Marion, a female impersonator who performs under the stage name Sushi, has dropped from a giant red shoe to welcome the new year. Last year, a curfew imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic forced organizers to move the celebration move up to 9 p.m. and limit the audience to 200 people according to the New York Times. 

But the beloved free public celebration will be back in front of the Bourbon St. Pub and New Orleans House complex, located 724 Duval St., to ring in 2022. As will two other quirky countdowns along the iconic Duval Street.

Out supersized conch shell will drop to the flat roof of Sloppy Joe's Bar, located at 201 Duval St. Over at the Key West Historic Seaport, Schooner Wharf Bar will lower a "pirate wench" from the mast of a tall ship to countdown to the new year, with canons celebrating the arrival of 2022. 

You may also like:
Ski Season begins in the US and Canada: What to know before you hit the slopes in 2021
The 15 best things to do in New Orleans
 

Buy Ultimate United States Travel List

For the first time ever, Lonely Planet's experts have compiled the USA's 500 most memorable, beautiful, surprising and compelling experiences. Ponder the scope of the Grand Canyon, delve into the history of a nation of immigrants at Ellis Island or wander across architectural grandeur at Golden Gate Bridge. Where will you go next?

Buy Ultimate United States Travel List

Explore related stories