NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Around one million revelers welcomed the new year at Times Square.
“It’s chaotic but I love it. It’s New York,” said Yvonne Taylor of Indianapolis.
“Very, very insane but I hope it’s going to be worth it. We’re right by the stage so we’re going to see the artist and the ball drop,” said Eric Guerra of Tampa.
Warmer weather on New Year’s Eve welcomed the throng of revelers at the Crossroads of the World, from across the country and around the world.
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“I made it this morning. I love to get into things,” said Virginia Thornley of the Upper East Side.
“A new beginning for everything, definitely, said” Aime Kern of Kentucky.
Ty from Bridgeport, Connecticut has been camped out at 46th Street and Seventh since 10 p.m. Friday. He says it’s his first time ever ringing in the New Year at the Crossroads Of The World.
“The best part I’d have to say is the people,” he said. “If you’re going to spend New Year’s Eve anywhere, New York is the place to do it.”
Andre, also from Connecticut, says he slept in Times Square all night to get a good spot and says there’s no where else he’d rather be.
“If you could experience it once, it’s worth every bit of it,” he said.
Even Mayor Michel Bloomberg was on hand to watch the ball drop.
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“Every year. I’ve gone out for 10 years,” he said. “It is one of the most exciting things. The ball comes down and music plays and the fireworks go off and people cheer.”
“It’s a good year. You just have to have a positive attitude and we’re here. A lot of people, so let’s bring the new year,” said Sara Rueda from Colombia.
Bag checks, canine officers, bomb-sniffing dogs, and thousands of New York’s finest in uniform and plainclothes were strategically stationed at the party.
“You’ll see mounted police officers. Our helicopters will be up in the air. We’re checking a 200-block area around Times Square,” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Friday.
Kelly also said people who enter the area will have to go through a magnetometer check.
COBRA teams will handle chemical, biological and radiological threats and will be pre-deployed to key areas. Manhole covers are sealed, barricades are set up to pen in the revelers and at least 500 security cameras are in place to scan the crowds.
“This would be the safest place ever. It’s a wonderful night to be here,” Carmen Villarica-Remache, of Queens, said.
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Some 238 new Waterford crystal panels were added to those from past years on the nearly six-ton ball. It’s adorned with almost 3,000 crystal triangles. The new patterns on the ball represent friends holding hands for this year’s theme, “Let There Be Friendship.”
Countdown Entertainment President Jeffery Straus says they can’t wait.
“And what’s so great about this ball is not just us in Times Square, the 1 million revelers, it’s over a hundred million Americans and over a billion people around the globe that will be counting down with us,” he said.
The Times Square celebration was star-studded this year, with Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Drake, Pitbull, Cee Lo Green, Hot Chelle Rae, Broadway Cast of “Rock of Ages,” and more on hand.
Lady Gaga was also chosen by Mayor Bloomberg to lead the final 60-second countdown to the New Year.
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