NEW YORK – If you don’t know it already, exhausted as you already are with all that extended bouts of late night shopping during Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, sick of hearing about a suicide bomber caught in New York City, a sexual predator lose a Senate bout in Alabama, and shoveling snow already twice this month, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,’ as crooned by the inimitable Andy Williams, running inexorably on every radio station you tune into.
And if you haven’t already made plans for New Year’s Eve in the Big Apple, like some of your glamorous friends already have – and gloating about it, to make your life even more miserable than it was, after you discovered you didn’t clinch that 85 inch smart TV set at the price you really wanted on Black Friday, your only consolation might be that you have probably saved at least $1,160 unlike your braggadocious friends who have plotted dinner and a show on the fourth most popular holiday in the United States, come December 31st.
Yes, that price of $1,160 is the average price a couple spend on dinner and a show in New York City on New Year’s Eve, according to a new study released by personal finance website WalletHub, which evaluated the 100 most populous cities in the US for quality, cost and safety of a night out for New Year’s Eve entertainment. That price is also $680 more, compared to dinner and a show on December 31st, in Washington, D.C.
New York City ranks #1 in the list for the top entertainment destination in the US for New Year’s Eve – and also the most expensive, according to WalletHub, which found out that after Christmas (78%), Thanksgiving (74%), and Independence Day (47%), New Year’s Eve is the most popular holiday (at 41%). New York City has by far the most number of restaurants, exciting nightlife and luxury shops than any other city.
With 7,000 NYPD officers keeping vigil on New Year’s Eve, the two million visitors who throng Times Square to watch the ball drop (for free, but a Balldrop Party Pass will set you back $229), New York City still manages to get only 9th spot for events per capita, however. Orlando, Florida (#2), Atlanta, Georgia (#3), Los Angeles (#4), and San Francisco (#5), round off the top five in the study.
While a solid 49% of Americans, 175 million people, plan to celebrate New Year’s Eve at home (23% don’t plan to celebrate it at all and 30% will fall asleep before midnight; while 48% of parents plan to count down the last 10 seconds of 2017 by 9 p.m.), perhaps taking in festivities through the eyes of ‘New Year’s Eve Live’ hosted by Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen (who replaced the wonderfully raucous Kathy Griffin), on CNN, or ‘Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve 2018’ hosted by Ryan Seacrest, on ABC, with a glass of wine to perk things up, the study found that 54% Americans plan to kiss someone at midnight. For loners and singles, it might be good to keep your dog next to you at countdown.
A total of 83% Americans spend less than $200 on New Year’s Eve, with 18% planning to spend New Year’s Eve at a friend’s house. Talking of those glamorous friends, here’s the deal: 9% of Americans plan to be at a bar, restaurant or organized event, like a cruise, to spice up life.
Needless to say, there will be plenty of revelry on New Year’s Eve, as a total of 360 million glasses of sparkling wine is consumed in the US. Some of all that revelry is also revealed in the fact that an average of 11,974 babies are born on September 30th – 9 months after New Year’s Eve, as compared to the average of 7,792 babies born on New Year’s Day.
For those who follow the rigors of tradition, it’s recommended to eat 365 black eyed peas for luck, through 2018.
Some sordid facts: New Year’s Eve is the busiest night of the year in the US for illegal ‘celebratory’ gunfire; almost 42,000 people get injured in car crashes that night and the New Year’s Day; and it ranks as the third most popular day for car thefts, only after Halloween and Labor Day. Seems like a lot of burglars have marked New Year’s Eve as their special night out too!
Finally, some New Year’s Day 2018 trivia: 18 million flowers are used to build the floats for the Tournament of Rose Parade, in Pasadena, California; 10,000 people perform in Philadelphia’s Mummers Parade; and inevitably: 67% (optimistic) Americans make a new year’s resolution – 49% on weight loss, 33% financial resolutions, 26% education/career goals, 16% habit changes, like quit drinking, smoking.
Realism hits on December 31st every year: only 9.2% Americans are successful in achieving their resolution.
As Oprah Winfrey said it: “Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”
(Sujeet Rajan is Executive Editor, Parikh Worldwide Media. E-mail him: firstname.lastname@example.org Follow him on Twitter @SujeetRajan1)