Watch thousands gather in Times Square for New Year’s ball drop as 2017 ends

A woman poses in Times Square early morning as she gets ready to attend the New Year's Eve celebrations on December 31, 2017 in New York City. / AFP PHOTO / KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)

MANHATTAN —  Thousands of New Yorkers and tourists from around the world packed into Times Square Sunday to ring in 2018, watch the ball drop and enjoy the midnight fireworks.

This year’s ball is 12 feet in diameter, weighs 11,875 pounds and is covered with 2,688 triangles that change colors like a kaleidoscope, illuminated by 32,256 LED lights.

The New Year’s eve celebration will also feature a return performance by Mariah Carey. Last year’s set had a number of issues.

Security will be tight for the celebration. Thousands of officers will patrol the streets, many of which will be blocked off by cement blocks and sanitation trucks. People hoping to enjoy the events in Times Square will also have to pass through screening.  Counterterrorism officials said there are no specific or credible threats to New York City or the Times Square New Year’s events, but officers will still be out in force to protect the people enjoying Sunday’s festivities.

The revelers gathered in some of the coldest weather seen in more than 25 years. Forecasters say it will be in the middle teens around midnight with a wind chill making it feel like minus 5. In 1962 it was just 11 degrees outside as New York rang in the New Year.

Mayor Bill de Blasio warned New Yorkers to stay inside tonight because of the cold.

A schedule of events and a transit advisory is available here.

Check out some photos from New Year’s celebrations around the world below:

 

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