Revelers pack Times Square, usher in 2007

Posted On January 1, 2007

Filed under News Americas

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Security tight; alcohol banned

NEW YORK > More than 1 million revelers in Times Square greeted 2007 with cheers, kisses, and a whopping 3.5 tons of confetti at the city’s massive New Year’s Eve party.

The famously flashy New Year’s Eve crystal ball dropped down a flagpole to a countdown chorus led by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and US servicemen and women. Longtime host Dick Clark ticked off the final 10 seconds from a television studio.

Partygoers from all over the world poured into the area hours before the clock struck 12 to snag prime viewing spots. The happy crowd cheered and laughed, apparently unfazed by hours of standing and waiting without much water or food or bathrooms.

Amid tight security that revelers have come to expect since Sept. 11, 2001, one of the largest crowds on record flooded Times Square last night for the celebration. With relatively high temperatures in the low 40s and more entertainment on tap, crowds packed Broadway all the way to Central Park for the festivities.

The spectators began filling the streets hours before the famed midnight drop of the New Year’s crystal ball. They were in high spirits, cheering and joking as the celebration began around 6 p.m. with live music. Before the ball dropped, visitors dropped tens of millions of dollars on food, drink, and souvenirs, capping what some are calling the city’s busiest tourism year ever.

The Police Department set up checkpoints and was not allowing any large bags, backpacks, or alcohol in the secure zone at the “Crossroads of the World.” Bomb-detecting dogs were on patrol.

More than a dozen major acts performed during the evening, including pop singer Christina Aguilera, the rap group Three 6 Mafia, country band Rascal Flatts, R&B singer Toni Braxton, and the cast of the Broadway musical “Jersey Boys.” The Texas band Radiant kicked off the event, when the famously flashy New Year’s Eve ball was raised to the top of a flagpole.

In New York, Clark was back for ABC’s “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” broadcast for the second time since a stroke caused him to skip a broadcast in 2004. “It’s still the biggest party in the world,” the raspy but healthy looking Clark said.