Millions Celebrate New Year's Eve in Times Square Despite Record-Breaking Low Temperatures
Millions celebrated the new year in Times Square, despite it being the second-coldest celebration in New York City on record
Despite the record-breaking low temperatures, millions of people rang in the New Year in Times Square on Sunday.
According to NBC News, two million people were expected to brave the weather in order to watch the ball drop in New York City this year.
NBC New York reported that temperatures dropped to nine degrees Fahrenheit, making it the second-coldest New Year’s Eve in Times Square on record. And according to FOX5NY, thanks to the windchill, temperatures would feel like they were below zero.
The coldest N.Y.C. celebration on record occurred 100 years ago in 1917, according to FOX5NY, when temperatures dropped down to just 1 degree Fahrenheit at midnight.
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FOX5NY reported that a severe blast of Arctic air had descended on the N.Y.C. region and that New York City Emergency Management officials had issued an extreme cold weather alert starting on Tuesday afternoon.
According to TIME, New York City and state health officials had advised those in attendence to cover all exposed skin and wear a hat, scarf and gloves throughout the night. The outlet also reported that officials advised against drinking alcohol, which causes the body to lose heat faster.
TIME also reported that extra New York Fire Department personnel were on hand to provide medical support.
But despite the cold weather, Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance — which puts on the festive end-of-year celebration — was confident people would still turn out to celebrate.
“Hundreds of thousands have withstood very cold weather over the years for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and we expect this year to be no different,” he said, according to FOX5NY.
And even though the weather outside was frightful, the crowd who attended the festivities still managed to have a good time.
“It is a beautiful experience. There’s nothing like it, nothing at all like it,” New Yorker Colleen Keenan — who attended the event alongside her son and his friend — said shortly after the ball dropped to NBC New York. “Times Square is the place to be on New Year’s Eve, that’s for sure. Now everyone is going to get drunk and get warm.”
“I’m freezing, but it’s worth it,” she added. “Every second in this miserable cold is worth it.”