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Spectators Spend Hours In Chilly Times Square Before Major New Year's Party

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TWC News: Spectators Spend Hours In Chilly Times Square Before Major New Year's Party
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Final preparations for the Times Square's enormous New Year's party are wrapping up, as more than one million revelers are expected to crowd the Midtown crossroads tonight to watch the famed crystal ball drop. NY1's Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.

Revelers turning out to Times Square early Monday morning wasted no time staking out a spot for the night's big party.

"It's very early, but you know it's fun," one bystander said.

"It's on my bucket list. I always wanted to be here in New York, New York," said another. "A lot of people came here from different countries, so it's really good."

They came bundled up in coats and blankets, though some who are accustomed to the cold weather did not make much of what are expected to be very chilly temperatures.

"I have a t-shirt, a small cardigan and just this sweater. I have two scarves in the bag," said a bystander.

"We have a lot of layers on. I have sandwiches and water so we don't freeze to death," said another bystander.

More than a million people were expected to pack Times Square and more than a billion were expected to tune in to watch the years biggest party worldwide.

The New York City Police Department was out early patrolling the area and in the afternoon police officers were closing down streets and manning security checkpoints.

Those who brave the crowds in Times Square tonight should know that backpacks, large bags and alcohol are not allowed in the area.

All visitors must pass through metal detectors, and those who decide to leave Times Square before the ball drops will not be able to get back to their original spot.

New Yorkers are recommended to take mass transit.

"The energy is already starting out here, it's amazing. Yesterday with the rehearsals and everything happening, we are ready to go," said Jeff Straus of the Times Square Alliance.

Given the devastating impact of Hurricane Sandy on the city, as well as the recent school shooting in Newtown, Conn., revelers told NY1 they were looking for something to celebrate.

"We definitely need some sort of release. It's good for everybody," said a bystander. "Really, it's just awesome, all the lights, all the yelling, all the happiness. I mean, it's a new year."

A Waterford crystal ball lit by more than 32,000 LED lights, which was raised Sunday to its 130-feet perch above the "Crossroads of the World," will drop in the last seconds before midnight.

The ball's panels feature doves etched into the crystal, a sign of peace in a tumultuous year.

Midtown Traffic, Parking Restrictions

There is no parking on the following streets until 1 a.m. Tuesday on the following streets:

• All cross-town streets from 33rd to 59th Street between 6th and 8th Avenue.
• West side of 5th Avenue, from 37th to 52nd Streets.
• West side of 6th Avenue, from 34th to 59th Streets.
• East side of 6th Avenue, from 37th to 52nd Streets.
• East side of 8th Avenue from 34th to 57th Streets.
• 48th Street between 5th and Ninth Avenues.
• 43rd Street between 5th and 8th Avenue.
• 42nd Street between 5th and 9th Avenue.
• 37th Street between 5th and 8th Avenue.
• 34th Street between 5th and 9th Avenue.
• 48th Street between 5th and 9th Avenue.
• 52nd Street between 5th and 8th Avenue.
• 58th Street between 6th and 8th Avenue.
• 59th Street between 5th Avenue and Columbus Circle.

The following streets are closed to vehicles until the end of the celebration:

• Seventh Avenue, from 41st to 59th Streets.
• Broadway, from 47th to 59th Streets;
• 43rd to 47th Streets, from Sixth to Eighth Avenue.
• 42nd Street from Sixth to Eighth Avenue.

After 6:30 p.m. on Monday, December 31st, the remainder of the traffic closures will be instituted as crowd conditions warrant:

• All cross-town streets from 37th to 41st Streets - Sixth to Eighth Avenues.
• All cross-town streets from 49th to 59th Streets - Sixth to Eighth Avenues.
• 48th Street, from Fifth to Ninth Avenues.

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