Hours before Times Square was even open to the crowd, people had already started gathering. Bundled and bursting with excitement, they sat on the sidelines awaiting the main event.
Before they can stake a claim, revelers have to go through rigid security. Police have spent weeks prepping the area, removing mailboxes and securing manhole covers.
Checkpoints have been set up to keep prohibited items like alcohol and backpacks out.
“There will be magnotometers there, there will be radiation detectors, so people can feel assured when they get in here, that there has been a lot of security applied to the folks who are congregating here,” said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
And those “folks” will be many. Hundreds of thousands are expected to turn out, and organizers are expecting a crowd of record-breaking proportions thanks to relatively warm weather.
Even those who aren’t headed to Midtown for the celebration may be impacted by the heightened New Year’s security. Police are closing off the area from 41st to 58th Streets between Sixth and Eighth Avenues until 3 a.m. Sunday.