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Thousands Brave Rain In New York’s Times Square To Welcome 2019

Rain Won’t Stop Thousands Of People Ringing In The New Year New York’s Times Square erupted with fireworks and cheers at the stroke of midnight on Tuesday as thousands...

Rain Won’t Stop Thousands Of People Ringing In The New Year

New York’s Times Square erupted with fireworks and cheers at the stroke of midnight on Tuesday as thousands of hardy merrymakers braved pouring rain and watched the glowing New Year’s Eve ball complete its midnight descent to mark the start of 2019.

For the multitudes who gathered in the famed midtown Manhattan crossroads, the thrilling moment was the reward for enduring hours of standing in a steady downpour during the waning hours of 2018.

Helping to keep spirits high was a slate of performers including Christina Aguilera, New Kids on the Block and Sting who entertained the resilient crowd. Many donned plastic rain ponchos and sported colorful, oversized top hats handed out by organizers.

“It was a bucket-list thing,” said Daniela Ramous, a 34-year-old sales manager from McAllen, Texas. “You grow up watching it on TV, you see all the excitement. There’s something magical about New York during this time of year.”

Belying the idea that New Yorkers themselves eschew the Times Square festivities, Eskie Garcia, a 59-year-old city worker living in Brooklyn, said she has come every year for about a decade.

“You have to come here in person,” she said before applying lipstick and asking a stranger to take her picture on her cell phone. “Especially when you live by yourself. You come, you meet people.”

Janette Masson, 29, said she preferred this year’s rain to last year’s bone-chilling cold. Masson, who works in retail in Boston, had been in her pen since 9.30 a.m., eating granola bars for lunch and dinner.

“I can deal with it,” said Masson’s 61-year-old mother, Judy Masson, as she stood in the rain with many hours of waiting still to come. “You make the best of a bad thing.”

The tradition of watching a giant ball drop from a pole on top of the narrow building at the head of Times Square in midtown Manhattan began in 1907.

The ball in current use – a glittering, LED-studded sphere made by Waterford Crystal and Philips Lighting – made its debut in 2008. Weighing 11,875 pounds (5,386 kg) and measuring 12 feet (3.7 meters) in diameter, it sits year-round on the roof of One Times Square, the one-time headquarters of the New York Times.

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