ENTERTAINMENT

Times Square New Year's party taps Cuban actor Jencarlos Canela to drop the ball

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 13:  Actor Jencarlos Canela attends People En Espanol's 50 Most Beautiful 2013 at Marquee on May 13, 2013 in New York City.  (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for People en Espanol)

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 13: Actor Jencarlos Canela attends People En Espanol's 50 Most Beautiful 2013 at Marquee on May 13, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for People en Espanol)  (2013 Getty Images)

The Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration is getting a small telenovela flavor this year with actor and singer Jencarlos Canela.

The Cuban-American actor has been tapped to push the button that releases the Waterford Crystal ball at the annual event after the 60-second countdown to ring in the New Year, organizers announced.

Canela will be representing the International Rescue Committee (IRC), the philanthropic partner of the 2015 New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square. Other representatives joining him in the year’s final countdown include IRC president David Miliband, South Sudanese model Mykhor Paul, Alek Wek and local high school senior Sonam Lama.

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“The IRC delegation embodies the full meaning of New Year’s Eve – from reflecting on where we’ve been and letting go of the hardships behind us, to starting anew with a sense of hope and new beginnings,” said Tim Tompkins,  president of the Times Square Alliance, in a statement.

Canela is believed to be the first Latino artist to push the ball-drop button. He follows Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who welcomed the New Year in Times Square in 2013/14.

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