Jan. 1 (UPI) — More than an estimated 1 million people crowded Times Square in New York City on New Year’s Eve to ring in 2020 in grand style.
The revelers counted down the last minute and then the last 10 seconds of 2019 as the iconic crystal ball made its descent down a pole to 2020. And when the year ticked over and the ball dropped, thousands of pounds of confetti fell, fireworks exploded and those revelers cheered, danced and kissed.
More than a billion people worldwide watched the New Year’s Eve celebration, said its host, actor Jonathan Bennett, with the star of the show being the crystal ball.
At 12-feet in diameter, lit with some 32,000 LEDs and weighing in at over 11,000 pounds, the Times Square Ball, redesigned for this year, is the world’s largest crystal ball, Bennett said, calling it “the universal symbol of the New Year.”
More than 3,000 pounds of confetti was released about 20 minutes prior to the countdown so as to rain the wishes of others on the merrymakers as they cheered in 2020.
In the month leading up to the event, a wishing wall was erected in Times Square, inviting people to write their hopes and dreams on confetti that was then showered on those packed in the street.
“Be a part of the most magical night,” the Times Square Alliance said on its website encouraging people to add their wishes to the confetti shower.
The night was filled with performances from K-pop superband BTS, Canadian singer Alanis Morissette and rap artist Post Malone.
However, the last song of 2019 was John Lennon’s “Imagine,” performed before midnight by X Ambassadors.
And then the 60-second countdown began when two teachers, Jared Fox and Aida Rosenbaum, and four of their students, with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, pushed the crystal button to start the iconic ball drop.