New Year’s Eve: Celebration Marks the End of 2015 and Beginning of 2016:
More than a million individuals in the Times Square of New York hailed the coming of 2016 with a measure of help, cheers as well as kisses as America’s largest New Year’s Eve party unfolded without a hitch under a blanket of security that was unprecedented.
The transition to the brand new year was marked by the origin of the conventional lighted crystal ball from atop a skyscraper amid fireworks as well as a blizzard of confetti at the middle of the famous Manhattan crossroads, the climax of an annual ritual of winter dating back to 1904.
With memories of the fatal strikes in Paris and California still fresh, authorities took extraordinary measures to ensure security at a party that’s come to identify the New York experience for a lot of visitors to the greatest U.S. city.
However, the occasion, broadcast live on national television, went off as a gay mood prevailed despite – or maybe because of – the heavy police presence, with no hint of trouble.
“This is actually the centre of the planet on New Year’s Eve,” said Rick Milley, 60, who traveled from Boston with his own wife, Debbie, 59, to ring in the brand new year in Times Square.
“This was on our bucket list,” Debbie Milley said as the couple shot pictures of themselves using a selfie stick.
The pair have spent the vacation in New York before but never before in Times Square, a year round tourist draw, full of flamboyant marketing displays, family restaurants and chain stores.
About 6,000 uniformed and undercover police officers, 500 more than last year, patrolled the region, with the force strengthened by dogs, radiation detectors and hundreds of surveillance cameras.
For the very first time on a New Year’s Eve, the city deployed its new Critical Response Order, which contains more heavily armed policemen.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security ranked the Times Square party as a level 2 concern on its five-point scale of protection threats for important public occasions, an appellation one step below the top-rated amount-1 categorization given Friday’s coming Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California.
PENNED IN FOR THE CELEBRATION
Mayor Bill de Blasio pushed the button that started the descent, resulting in the 60-second countdown to midnight, when a giant illuminated “2016” signal flashed on, indicating the start of the brand new year.
The revelers were arranged into tidy pencils formed by police barricades that stretched for many blocks up Broadway and Seventh Avenue north of One Times Square.
From a vantage point about 20 floors above, the revelers seemed to be tucked into block-long honeycombs encircled support workers and by uniformed policemen dressed in brilliant red coveralls.
Cheers reverberated through the place as pictures from the amusement stages played on a giant display mounted on the building below the post supporting the crystal ball.
“I always liked to come here, but never took the opportunity,” said James Gomez, 39, of New Haven, Connecticut, as he studied the place with buddies trying to find a prime viewing spot.
Gomez came to Times Square even though he said he was concerned regarding the region being targeted in an assault. “I am frightened,” he said.
In the hours before midnight, musical artists like Jessie J and Carrie Underwood performed on stages set right up in the region.
Over 100 million Americans and 1 billion individuals world-wide were anticipated to view the festivities on television.
Later, Rochester, about 330 miles (530 kilometers) northwest of New York, canceled its New Year’s Eve fireworks display.
Before entering Times Square, visitors were required to pass through security checkpoints that were tight, with cops stopping anyone from taking big bags and backpacks while seeking smaller totes and scanning people who have metal detectors.
The custom of gathering in Times Square to celebrate the new year started in 1904, as stated by the Times Square Alliance, the region’s business-development organization.
That was the year that a brand new headquarters building started at One Times Square as well as the city officially renamed the square following the paper.