Home / Top Story / Times Square NYE brings mild weather, 1 million revelers

Times Square NYE brings mild weather, 1 million revelers

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Updated: Thursday, December 31, 2015, 10:24 PM

The recipe for a one-of-a-kind New Year’s Eve party: One million delirious revelers, 2,000 pounds of falling confetti, one glittering Waterford crystal ball — and 6,000 police officers.

The annual Times Square celebration of the coming year kicked off Thursday with the massive crowd expected to greet 2016 under mild weather conditions — with temperatures in the mid-30s and no threat of rain — and some serious safety precautions.

Partygoers hailing from around the world began arriving at the Crossroads of the World before dawn, awaiting the excitement of ringing in the new year in the Big Apple.

“I came for the experience, you know? No one can take this away from us,” said 21-year-old Taylor Dodson, from Baltimore.

Crowd of people waiting long hours at Times Square to celebrate the New Year.Go Nakamura/New York Daily News

Crowd of people waiting long hours at Times Square to celebrate the New Year.

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The celebrations were set to unwind under particularly intense security, with more than 6,000 uniformed officers on patrol in Midtown, along with 500 members of the NYPD’s new anti-terror force — some in civilian clothes, many heavily armed — as well as rigid security screenings.

An estimated 1 million people were expected at the celebration.

“This is the iconic New Year’s celebration for the world,” NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said. “We have no threats we’re aware of directed against this event tonight, but nevertheless we still plan for the worst and then expect the best.”

Police brass said in advance of the nationally televised street party that there was no credible threat of potential terrorism prior to the event.

But bomb-sniffing dogs and radiation detectors were be on site as a precaution. Backpacks and liquor were banned from the blowout.

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi Todd Maisel/New York Daily News

Tom Brennan, master artisan from Waterford Crystal, talks about the construction of the ball.

Enlarge NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi Todd Maisel/New York Daily News

Representatives of Times Square and Waterford Crystal showed off the New Year’s Eve ball as it was being readied for New Year’s Eve.

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Tom Brennan (l.) of Waterford Crystal talks about the construction of the Times Square New Year’s Eve ball. This year 288 new Waterford crystal panels were added to the iconic orb.

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Some in the crowd admitted to being nervous about gathering in such a famous location in the weeks after the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif.

Just hours earlier Thursday, an ex-con was charged in upstate New York with planning to carry out a New Year’s Eve attack at a bar to prove he was worthy of joining the ISIS.

Pedestrians submit to a search as they enter Times Square in New York, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015. Around 1 million people are expected to converge on Times Square for the annual New Year's Eve celebration. This year's festivities will also be attended by nearly 6,000 New York City police officers, including members of a specialized counterterrorism unit. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) Seth Wenig/AP

Pedestrians submit to a search as they enter Times Square in New York, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015. Around 1 million people are expected to converge on Times Square for the annual New Year’s Eve celebration. This year’s festivities will also be attended by nearly 6,000 New York City police officers, including members of a specialized counterterrorism unit. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Enlarge NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 31: Counterterrorism police officers are briefed in Times Square prior to the Times Square new years eve celebration on December 31, 2015 in New York City. The New York Police Department will have more than 6,000 officers in the Times Square area, including more than 1,100 officers who graduated from the police academy on Tuesday. It will be the largest such deployment of police in New York City ever. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) Andrew Burton/Getty Images

NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 31: Counterterrorism police officers are briefed in Times Square prior to the Times Square new years eve celebration on December 31, 2015 in New York City. The New York Police Department will have more than 6,000 officers in the Times Square area, including more than 1,100 officers who graduated from the police academy on Tuesday. It will be the largest such deployment of police in New York City ever. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

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The NYPD beefed up security at Times Square. Partygoers were searched and cops banned backpacks and liquor.

In Paris, the city recovering from its own deadly attack enjoyed scaled-back celebrations. .

Ashley Watters, 18, from Gettysburg, Pa., called the threat of terrorism “the elephant in the room.”

“I talked to my dad before I left and said ‘I love you and hopefully ISIS doesn’t come,”’ Watters said.

Revelers play cards while waiting to celebrate the New Year.Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Revelers play cards while waiting to celebrate the New Year.

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Others were heartened by the security presence, which led Mayor de Blasio — who pushed the button to send the ball on its minute-long descent at 11:59 p.m. — and his police team to declare the city “the safest place in the world” on New Year’s Eve.

The Times Square ball was brighter than ever after the addition of 288 new crystal panels.

The first New Year’s Eve ball, fashioned from iron, wood and 100 25-watt light bulbs, was dropped in 1907.

Musical performers for the New Year’s party included Carrie Underwood, Wiz Khalifa and Jesse J.

“We came here just to watch the ball drop,” said an ecstatic Ajah Moore, 35, who cuddled up next to her husband, Dion Moore. “We’ve always wanted to do this.”

With News Wire Services

With

lmcshane@nydailynews.com

Tags:
times square ,
nypd ,
new year’s eve ,
holidays ,
midtown
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