Revelers watch ball drop in US, around the world to ring in 2024: ‘It’s beautiful’

People across the globe celebrated the turn of the new year Sunday night and into Monday morning as they watched the ball drop and kissed loved ones under confetti that showered onto city streets marking the start of 2024.

In New York City’s Times Square, Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” was heard from speakers by thousands of people after the colorful ball dropped at midnight.

“It’s beautiful,” Corin Christian of Charlotte, North Carolina, said.

Many people arrived Sunday morning for a spot in one of the barricaded pens set up by the New York City Police Department ahead of musical performances by Bebe Rexha, Sabrina Carpenter, Ludacris, Megan Thee Stallion, LL Cool J and other performers before the final countdown to midnight.

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“This is my first time to celebrate the New Year in Times Square,” Nadja Sjostrom, of Stockholm, Sweden, said. Sjostrom arrived in New York a few days earlier for the celebration and had been standing in Times Square since about 8 a.m.

Antonio Ruz flew from Granada, Spain, to achieve his lifelong dream of ringing in the new year in Times Square. He joined the crowds to enter the barricaded area at about 8.15 a.m. for what he described as a “once in a lifetime” moment.

“Since I was a kid, I saw on TV this is a spectacular show, so I had to live it,” he said.

Thousands of police officers worked to keep New York City safe during the festivities. There is typically an increased police presence in cities on New Year’s Eve, but the heightened security this year also came as pro-Palestinian protesters in New York attempted to disrupt celebrations and call for a ceasefire in the ongoing war in the Middle East between Israeli forces and Hamas terrorists.

Roughly 90,000 officers were deployed around France, including along Champs-Elysees Avenue, where large crowds observed a multidimensional light show projected onto the Arc de Triomphe showcasing the history of Paris and sporting events slated in the city for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

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Fireworks displays were showcased at iconic locations, including the Acropolis in Athens, Greece, and at the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.

In China, celebrations were relatively quiet as most major cities banned fireworks over safety and pollution concerns. But people still gathered and performers danced in colorful costumes in Beijing and a crowd released balloons in Chongqing.

Revelers in Taiwan’s capital of Taipei gathered for a fireworks show at the bamboo-shaped Taipei 101 skyscraper and at concerts and other events across the city.

India saw thousands of revelers from the financial hub of Mumbai watching the sun set over the Arabian Sea.

People across Japan gathered at temples, including the Tsukiji Temple in Tokyo, where visitors stood in line to strike a massive bell.

About 2 million people celebrated at Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana Beach under light rain to watch fireworks and ring in 2024.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

 

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