Hello 2010! 1 Million Welcome New Year in Times Square


2010-times-squareA new decade has arrived. In New York City last night, approximately 1 million people packed into Times Square to witness the ball drop welcoming in 2010.The crowds cheered when an 11,875-pound crystal ball covered with more than 32,000 bulbs dropped at midnight, ushering in the new decade and ending 10 years marred by war, recession, terrorism and threats of environmental catastrophe.

Many people wore conical party hats and 2010 glasses that blinked colorfully, and some were jumping up and down to keep warm as a cold rain fell last night.

Cell phones were brought out to document the last few hours of a decade many wanted to leave behind.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg was tempered in his assessment of the new year.

“If you put it in the context of what people are suffering around the world, we’re in very good shape,” he said from Times Square.

The partygoers in New York City brought out heightened police security, displayed a day earlier when police evacuated several blocks around Times Square to investigate a parked van without license plates. Only clothing and clothes racks were found inside.

New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, speaking from Times Square on a Webcast, said the department had “many, many” police officers in the crowd, both uniformed and plainclothes.

“This is something we do every year,” he said. “We change it somewhat so it’s not that predictable.”

The temperature at midnight was around 34 degrees and considering the bitter blast that slammed the tri-state area earlier in the week, it felt downright balmy.

Revelers were shoulder to shoulder and welcomed in a new year and all it has to offer.

“To new horizons, new adventures,” one person said.

Revelers are hoping the country’s problems accompany 2009 out the door.

Crowds cheered as the main attraction rose to the occasion. But getting that prime spot for the ball drop was a time-consuming task. Police searched every single person before allowing them into barricaded pens. Alcohol, backpacks and bags were banned.

With terror fears running high this year, security experts said thousands of police, counter terrorism, and FBI officers were strategically posted in every corner of Times Square as well as security cameras and devices to detect explosive materials.

{AP/CBS Broadcasting/Noam Amdurski-Matzav.com Newscenter}