NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – Times Square on New Year’s Eve isn’t for everyone.

Roughly 1 million people flooded the Big Apple last year to watch the ball drop. If that sounds like too much, city business leaders are asking, why not downtown New Brunswick?

The city plans to celebrate the start of 2017 at 11:30 p.m. Dec. 31 with its annual outdoor party in Monument Square Park, between Livingston Avenue and George Street. The event includes a New Year’s countdown, music, dancing and a midnight fireworks display, according to a press release from New Brunswick City Market, a nonprofit group that aims to make the city an entertainment destination.

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“Downtown New Brunswick is the downtown for this part of the state,” Francis Schott, owner of the restaurants Stage Left and Catherine Lombardi, said in a written statement. “It’s nice to have so many great people from the city and the neighboring towns come together at midnight.”

New Brunswick City Market also noted that some downtown restaurants will offer special menus for the holidays. Some bars will stay open later than usual to serve post-fireworks drinks, according to the group’s website.

Schott and Mark Pascal, who moonlight as radio personalities known as The Restaurant Guys, organized the New Year’s Eve party.

Downtown New Brunswick is also home to stores, where shoppers can buy phones, camera and jewelry, among other items. Hotels are within walking distance, as well.

"Spending New Year’s Eve in New Brunswick is special because you are able to achieve the same level of unique dining, entertainment and holiday celebration without the hassle of traveling into New York City, spending New York City dollars and dealing with the crowds that you would certainly experience," Fawn Stephens, City Market's program manager, said via email. "Having a nice evening out doesn’t have to break the wallet in downtown New Brunswick."