Visitors to Times Square got a small preview of New York City’s famed New Year’s Eve party on Friday, as the event's organizers heaved handfuls of colored paper skyward in a promotional event to test their confetti.
With crowds of celebrants expected to pack into Times Square for the festivities, even the smallest details can’t be overlooked, said Jeff Strauss, president of Countdown Entertainment. That includes the 2-by-2 inch slips of paper that will flutter to the ground at the stroke of midnight Sunday.
"This is a whole process," Strauss said. "We got to feel the confetti. We got to fluff it up. We got to make sure it's going to float."
While the test may have been more promotional than practical, the actual New Year's confetti release — which has been part of the event since 1992 — remains a labor-intensive operation. An estimated 3,000 pounds of confetti are trucked into midtown Manhattan each year, then carried to rooftops of office buildings overlooking Times Square. About a hundred volunteer "dispersal engineers" then drop the haul on the street below to ring in the new year.
At a security briefing later Friday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams said the city's police department was prepared for throngs of spectators.
"Hundreds of thousands of people will be out here lined up, and no matter how often we see it, you never get used to it, the excitement remains over and over again," he said.
Beyond confetti, a flurry of other preparations were underway for the celebration, which runs from 6 p.m. on Sunday until after midnight. Sitting behind the "2024" light display that arrived this week, the glittering crystal ball was set to undergo its own test drop on Saturday.
"Like any fine Broadway show, we rehearse everything to make sure there are no problems for opening night," said Tom Harris, the president of the Times Square Alliance.
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