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Times Square Packed With Teeming Crowd To Ring In 2013

Bloomberg And Kelly Stress Security Will Be Tight For Tonight's Festivities
Revelers in Times Square on New Year's Eve get festive with NIVEA accessories and products at Times Square on December 31, 2012 in New York City. (Credit: Brad Barket/Getty Images for NIVEA)

Revelers in Times Square on New Year’s Eve get festive with NIVEA accessories and products at Times Square on December 31, 2012 in New York City. (Credit: Brad Barket/Getty Images for NIVEA)

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UPDATED 01/01/13 12 midnight

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The ball has dropped in front of a throng of 1 million in Times Square, and 2013 has arrived.

1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon Reports

As CBS 2’s Ann Mercogliano reported, the air was electric, but also on the chilly side in Times Square before the ball dropped Monday night.

“I can tell right now, my feet after a few hours, very cold,” said reveler Marvin Santana. But he said it was all worth it to see the ball go down.

The revelers watched as the crystal ball lit up with more than 32,000 LED lights dropped from its post at One Times Square.

An estimated one million people in total celebrated in Times Square.  Hundreds of thousands of revelers from around the globe crammed into Times Square to see the ball drop.

“We get to tell people we were in the crowd in New York City on New Year’s Eve,” Virginian Candace Hudgins told CBS 2’s Drew Levinson.

The famous New Year’s Eve ball is sitting at the top of 1 Times Square. It weighs almost six tons, and is covered with nearly 2,700 Waterford crystals, and is powered by 32,256 LED lights.

SECURITY IN TIMES SQUARE

Safety at the center of the world is partially a matter of what you can see. Keeping a tight watch on Times Square were thousands of NYPD officers in uniform and in plain clothes.

Bags were checked, and radiation detectors and surveillance cameras were set up.

Manhole covers were sealed for safety.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly says Times Square will be the “safest place in the world on New Year’s Eve.”

The NYPD has even pressed some officers fresh out of the academy into action.

“The FBI will be there. They always have an appearance,” Kelly said. “We have the Fire Department.”

Kelly said he had not heard of any threats. But restrictions are tight.

“You come to Times Square, we will check backpacks.  You cannot bring alcohol or drugs – don’t try to do it. You’re not gonna get away with it,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

Along with an army of uniformed officers, police used barriers to prevent overcrowding and for checkpoints to inspect vehicles, enforce a ban on alcohol and check handbags.

Plainclothes officers were assigned to blend into the crowd.

Police Issue Reminder On NYE Road, Subway Stop Closures

HOPES AND DREAMS FOR 2013

Some 25,000 New Year’s Eve balloons have been inflated and will be handed out tonight. Confetti has also been test-dropped ahead of the festivities – more than a ton of the party paper will rain down on revelers at midnight.

WCBS 880’s Monica Miller: Hope Will Rain On Times Square

Those tiny pieces of paper carried the hopes and dreams of people from all over the world, and there are names that go them.

They included Rita from Brisbane, Australia; Enrico from Italy; and K.C. from Lansdale, Pennsylvania. Their hopes for the new year range from winning the lottery to losing a few pounds.

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg: Singing Russians Got Some Of The Crowd In The Mood

“I hope for a happy year, also for my mother good luck with the traveling because she wanna do another trip to the U.S. She was here for her first time and really hopes that she enjoys the next year,” said Regina from Austria, who fit all of that on her tiny piece of confetti.

“Yes it was all tiny and I had to squeeze it into it and use both sides, but it worked out,” she told WCBS 880 reporter Monica Miller.

She hoped whoever caught her hopes and dreams finds love and good health in the new year.

1010 WINS Gary Baumgarten: Hopes For The New Year

“A happy and healthy new year, of course. That’s it. Simple,” a man named George said.

“All the disasters and the bad things that happened in 2012, we want to forget about them all. Just forget about them and move forward to 2013 and everything is going to be beautiful this coming year,” his wife Pat told 1010 WINS reporter Gary Baumgarten.

George did add that he, too, hopes for change, in particular, with the New York Jets.

“Fire everybody. Start from the top and just work your way down,” he said.

Catherine Nash of Washington told CBS 2 she’s ready for the celebration, and the cold weather.

“We are ready for it. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so we gotta do it,” Nash said.

As 2012 winds down, many are making New Year’s resolutions, and saying good riddance to the year we are leaving behind. Everything from bad memories to bank statements have been shredded.

“I’m giving up my sweet tooth because it has become a problem,” one person told CBS 2.

CELEBRATION IN BROOKLYN

Across the East River, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz hosted the annual New Year’s Eve Fireworks spectacular at Grand Army Plaza.

The celebration was free, and featured music by Brooklyn’s Rock ‘N’ Soul Experience and hot chocolate.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)