NEW YORK, Jan 1 (APP):Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and tourists from all over the world, who crammed the iconic Times Square Monday night, exuberantly rang in 2019 in drenching rain, with a colourful celebration amid tight security.At the stroke of midnight, the traditional crystal ball dropped setting off bursts of confetti and dazzling fireworks as soggy revelers sang and danced in wet but mild weather.
Famed American singer Christina Aguilera pumped up the crowd, performing in a snow-white dress and coat while partygoers danced in their rain ponchos.
Many of the people in and around the square spent nearly half the day in the rain waiting for the ball drop.
Despite the grim weather, some people said they felt energized by the crowd.
As always, the celebration took place under tight security, with partygoers searched at checkpoints and herded into pens ringed by metal barricades.
Thousands of police officers patrolled with the help of bomb-sniffing dogs, 1,225 security cameras and 235 “blocker vehicles” used to stop potential vehicle attacks. The event went off safely, with no major disruptions, though the rain forced police to cancel plans to deploy a drone to help monitor the crowd.
Some people in the crowd kneeled on the soaked ground, with ponchos over their heads as puddles formed and they waited for performers, including Christina Aguilera.
Veterans of the celebration said the rain wasn’t all that bad, considering last year was one of the coldest on record at 10 degrees Fahrenheit (-12 Celsius). This year, the temperature was about 47 degrees Fahrenheit (8 degrees Celsius) as midnight struck.