Fireworks and the drop of a sparkling crystal ball marked the start of the new year in the eastern U.S. This year's event is slated to honor journalists - with the Committee to Protect Journalists having been designated as the official charity of the evening.
New York City Police Commissioner James O'Neill said that there are no known credible threats for this year's event, but that large numbers of patrols and other precautions are standard protocol every year.
Last year's celebration was one of the coldest on record at 10 degrees Fahrenheit (-12 Celsius).
While everyone is prepping for the final countdown to 2019, weather experts said it will most likley be raining at midnight for the first time in 24 years.
Some people in the crowd kneeled on the soaked ground, with ponchos over their heads as puddles formed and they waited for performers, including Christina Aguilera, Snoop Dogg, Dan + Shay and Bastille.
"It was like a true state of pure bliss and unity and love, and it felt like there was no hate in the world", said Brie Dunn, 22, of NY. Many also know her as the Live Announcer of the MTV Video Music Awards and MTV Movie Awards. Masson, who works in retail in Boston, had been in her pen since 9.30 a.m., eating granola bars for lunch and dinner.
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Umbrellas were banned as part of the tight security plan, police said, reflecting concern over the possibility of random attacks. Vendors charged up to $10 for ponchos that ordinarily sell for $2.
There may be only one Times Square in the whole world, but New Year's Eve revelers have a variety of networks and hosts to watch the ringing in of the New Year. Even though they did not have tickets for the private party inside, they had been permitted to stand under the attraction's deep awning.
Coverage from NY begins at 6:00 p.m. ET and runs until shortly after the ball drop at midnight.
The ball in current use - a glittering, LED-studded sphere made by Waterford Crystal and Philips Lighting - made its debut in 2008.
You can also watch the Times Square festivities from ABC, CNN and NBC through a variety of streaming TV services beyond their respective apps and pages. The New York Police Department continues to maintain a robust overlay of police officers to ensure the safety of the celebrators.
One was the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi columnist for the Washington Post and U.S. resident, inside a Saudi Arabian Consulate in Turkey.