New York rings in 2018 with kisses, confetti



Crowds braved freezing temperatures to watch the New Year’s Eve Ball drop in New York’s Times Square to mark the start of 2018.

STORY: Intrepid revelers from around the world endured hours of waiting in a frigid Times Square on Sunday to witness the glittering New Year’s Eve ball make its annual descent at midnight, undeterred and perhaps reassured by a massive police presence.

With New York City in the grip of a bitterly cold Arctic air mass, the experience was made particularly memorable this year for hundreds of thousands of people who braved the bone-chilling conditions to witness a century-old tradition.

In the waning hours of 2017, the mercury had plunged to 10 Fahrenheit, with a “Real Feel” of 7F, according to AccuWeather.com. That made it the city’s second-coldest New Year’s Eve on record after 1917, when the mercury in Times Square dropped to 1F (-17C).

About 2 million people were expected in the vicinity of Times Square, the bow-tie-shaped plaza formed by the intersection of Broadway and Seventh Avenue in midtown Manhattan. That was roughly same number as last year, when the temperature at midnight was a comfortable 44F (7C).

The crowds counted down the final hours of 2017 with a lineup of live musical acts including Nick Jonas, Neil Diamond and Andy Grammer.

Then came the long-awaited ball drop, a tradition that dates to 1907, three years after New Yorkers started gathering en masse in Times Square to usher in the new year. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife Chirlane danced to the recorded music of Frank Sinatra singing, “New York, New York,” that was broadcast into the square over loudspeakers.

Thousands of police were on hand, some heavily armed, others undercover. The show of force is part of a beefed-up security plan that follows a spate of attacks in the city and around the world that authorities have labeled as terrorist.

The NYPD provided officers with specialized training to stop any suicide bombers in response to an attempted bombing in a Times Square subway station walkway on Dec. 11.

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BREAKING: NYC Officials Make HUGE New Years Eve Announcement… CANCELLED



The coldest New Year’s Eve in Times Square came in 1917, when it was just 1 degree at midnight.

Now that is cold!

This year, the forecast is for 11 degrees with a wind chill around zero, which would tie for second with 1962.

11 degrees? Yeah, I’ll pass.

“Hundreds of thousands have withstood very cold weather over the years for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and we expect this year to be no different,” said Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance which puts on the New Years event.

City and state health officials are advising people to cover all exposed skin, and wear a hat, scarf and gloves. Drinking alcohol is discouraged because it causes the body to lose heat faster.

Extra New York Fire Department personnel are going to be on hand to provide medical support and a National Weather Service meteorologist will be on site with the city’s emergency management officials to monitor weather conditions.

In other areas gripped by the cold, some events are being canceled or reconsidered. The annual Lobster Dip at Old Orchard Beach in Maine has been rescheduled for the first time in 30 years.

“With frigid weather, the chance of a water line break is higher, and I’d rather have my public works crew fixing it than hoisting a ball up to drop.”

– Mayor Jo Ann Litwin Clinton of Orchard Park, New York

Organizers of the Penguin Plunge in Narragansett, Rhode Island, say it’s still on for New Year’s Day but advised the thousands of expected participants to “use their good judgment” and avoid taking the plunge if they have a medical condition or have been sick.

With temperatures only expected to reach 9 degrees in Springfield, Illinois, on Sunday, organizers of its annual New Year’s Eve fireworks display have decided to cancel this year’s show. Officials say they plan to reschedule it for a warmer date.

Despite the drawn-out deep freeze across Pennsylvania, officials said Saturday the annual New Year’s Day Mummers Parade will still be held. The event features thousands of performers in colorful costumes adorned with sequins and feathers strutting through Philadelphia’s streets.

The village of Orchard Park near Buffalo, New York, has canceled its New Year’s Eve event because subzero temperatures have been forecast. “With frigid weather, the chance of a water line break is higher, and I’d rather have my public works crew fixing it than hoisting a ball up to drop,” said Mayor Jo Ann Litwin Clinton.

At Long Lake in the heart of New York state’s Adirondack Park, intrepid souls in swimsuits or funny costumes will jump into frigid water through a hole cut by the fire department for the fifth annual Polar Plunge, a fundraiser for High Peaks Hospice. With temperatures expected to top out around 13 degrees, the rescue squad will be checking participants’ blood pressure and buses will provide warm shelter, said Alexandra Roalsvig, the town’s director of recreation and tourism.

“People get excited about the cold here; we grew up with it,” Roalsvig said. “We’re counting on a good cold winter and snow because we’re so reliant on snowmobiling for the winter economy.”

I myself will be at home by the fire watching the celebrations on my 80 inch big screen with the full blown surround system.

I’ll drink some brews and take a Jacuzzi.

You couldn’t pay me to be in New York with all those stinking liberals.

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