Thousands of people crammed into New York City’s Times Square to welcome 2017

News Hour:

Thousands of people crammed into New York City’s Times Square on Saturday, in a raucous atmosphere with tight security, for the traditional ball drop.

At about 6:00 pm (2300 GMT), the giant sphere was hoisted to the top of the 43-meter (141-feet) post at the landmark crossroads with its towering buildings and huge neon lights, reports BSS.

Once lit, the ball glittered brightly and sparkled in the night sky just as some of the first fireworks crackled in the background.

Crowd packs in for the ‘ball drop’ in New York

At a minute before midnight, according to tradition, New York’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, will press the button that starts the drop. He will be joined this year by outgoing United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon.

Then comes the confetti, and the cheers of people around the world. More than a million people are expected in Times Square to mark this New Year’s tradition, observed every year since 1907 except the war years of 1942 and 1943.

On the heels of recent bomb attacks in Berlin and Nice, New York deployed some 7,000 police and dozens of garbage trucks to “strategic” locations to prevent vehicles from crushing the crowd.

The atmosphere seemed fairly relaxed and many police posed alongside tourists for “selfies” that visitors shared on social media.

“It’s the best place in the world to be on New Year’s Eve,” said Alma Alanis, a lawyer from Mexico with her companion, Eduardo Chavarria.

They arrived at midday, wrapped up in coats, to hold out until midnight.

“We have wanted to come here for many years, because it has to be seen, it is magic,” said Jerome Nicolas from central France.

“As soon as there is a crowd, we cannot help but think of the attacks,” said his wife Sandrine, referring to a series of massacres this year around the globe.

Leann Krieger, who traveled from Missouri with several former colleagues, voiced some trepidation about the incoming American president, Donald Trump.

“I hope for the best because there’s nothing we can do about it,” she said.

This article has been posted by a News Hour Correspondent. For queries, please contact through [email protected]
No Comments