MANHATTAN — Tens of thousands of people packed Times Square Monday night to ring in the New Year and watch the ball drop.
They stood for hours in drenching rain and watched singers, including Sting, Christina Aguilera, Bastille, Bebe Rexha and New Kids on the Block, perform.
The final 60-second countdown happens as a geodesic sphere — 12-feet (3.5-meters) in diameter, covered with 2,688 Waterford crystal triangles and lit by 32,256 LEDs — drops down a pole. The numerals "2019" light up at midnight accompanied by pyrotechnics and the release of 3,000 pounds of confetti.
Partygoers were paying up to $10 for plastic ponchos trying to stay dry. Umbrellas are banned for security reasons.
The weather forced police to scrap plans to fly a drone to help keep watch over the crowd.
Still, some people were smiling and dancing as music played on the sound system while they waited for the evening's main acts.
New Kids on the Block fan Nyia Williamson says she's been to the Times Square party 10 times before.
She says this year's rain isn't bad compared to past years, when the temperature was below freezing.
The celebration took place under tight security, with partygoers checked for weapons and herded into pens to await the stroke of midnight. Like last year, the NYPD is embedding detectives in hotels around Times Square in an attempt to thwart a potential attack like the one in Las Vegas last year in which a gunman shooting from a hotel room killed 59 people at an outdoor country music festival.
Last year's event was one of the coldest on record.