new york — Crowds gathered in Times Square all day Sunday and grew as people waited for hours to make sure they saw the iconic ball drop on New Year’s Eve.
At the Crossroads of the World, people from all over the world gathered to reflect on the past year and look ahead to the new year.
The Modaff family, visiting from Chicago, experienced New Year’s Eve in Times Square for the first time.
“It’s an experience like no other. This whole day was amazing,” said Jen Moduff.
Jeff Moduff said, “It’s so important to be with your family during the holidays. I’m glad we’re all together.”
Unity was the central theme. Many people, like New Jersey resident Warren Garcia, are ringing in the new year with new friends.
“I’ll be here for 13 hours, so why don’t you make some friends?” he said.
Garcia had to arrive in the morning to get a spot close to the fight, but he was ready.
“To be honest, we’re in diapers, but they’re still dry, don’t worry,” he said.
The Schirmers did not drink any water during the day on Sunday. After securing a spot early in the morning, they planned to spend hours in Times Square.
“My New Year’s resolution is to drink more water next year. I need to increase my water intake,” said Matt Schirmer of Milwaukee.
“But you’re not helping us with that today,” said CBS New York’s Jenna DeAngelis.
“We couldn’t help it today,” Schirmer said. “We like to do fun things every New Year. We’ve been to New Orleans. We’ve been to Nashville. We’ve never been to the city of New York, so all this… It’s great to experience something we’ve seen on TV before. ”
The Schirmers will ring in the new year with a new friend, Mike Galarowicz, a Michigan native who has been through this experience at least seven times.
“I’ve been to…Scotland. I’ve been to Austria. Last year I went to Estonia. I always come back to Times Square for New Year’s. Tonight, we’re at the center of the earth.” he said. He said.
“It’s a lot of fun. I’m not going to lie, but it takes a lot of planning in advance,” said a man named Max.
Albany natives Max and Ashley Christman had much more to celebrate.
“We have the same birthday on New Year’s Day,” she said.
This was the first time they had dropped the ball in Times Square.
First they had to go through security. Hundreds of uniformed officers and undercover agents are being deployed, along with K-9s and special technology.
For the first time, the NYPD will use a tethered drone truck on New Year’s Eve. It is strategically placed to give you more visibility above the large crowd.
“We’re looking for any kind of anomalies, we’re looking for people who have had any medical episodes, we’re looking for whether the cages are overcrowded,” said NYPD Deputy Chief Kaz Daughtry. .
“There’s a lot of things you can’t see. This is just the intelligence resources we’ve put into identifying leads and mitigating the threat,” said NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and Counterterrorism Rebecca Weiner.
The NYPD says it is ready to respond to any protests.
Cynthia Ross, from Indiana, said she had been here before and wanted to share the experience with her husband.
“He said he likes watching me on TV, but I have to see him in person at least once, so I came here,” she said.
“It’s amazing. It’s one of the best experiences of my life,” Rich Ross said.
The focus of many revelers is to celebrate what is about to happen.
“I’m very excited and looking forward to the moment,” said a tourist from Pennsylvania.
“I want to wish everyone a wonderful new year, and I want to pray for peace in the world,” Garcia said.
“For health, happiness, and helping people share kindness around the world,” Jeff Moduff said.
Special guests joined in the countdown every hour throughout the night, and performers put on a spectacular show to close out 2023.