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Revelers Flock to Times Square Hours Ahead of the Ball Drop

By Sybile Penhirin | December 31, 2014 3:53pm
 Hundreds of revelers gathered in Times Square hours before the ball drop on Dec. 31, 2014.
2015 in Times Square
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TIMES SQUARE The Pappas family came from Boston prepared to watch the ball drop.

They all wore ski clothes to fight the cold and, underneath, they were equipped so they wouldn’t have to leave their place.

“We have Red Bull, energy shots, lots of snacks, water, playing cards, we’re all wearing several layers and…we’re all wearing diapers,” said Chuck Pappas, a 56-year-old photographer who came to the Crossroads of the World with his wife, their two daughters and boyfriends at around 10:30 this morning.

Many streets are going to be closed for the occasion and officials said that people leaving their spots would have to stand in line again to enter the viewing areas.

“It was on our bucket list. It’s like a challenge,” said Diane Pappas, 56.

Not far from the Pappas family, four college friends sitting on folding chairs said they drove from Atlanta, Georgia and Jackson, Mississippi mainly to see Taylor Swift who is one of the artists set to perform tonight before the ball drops.

“We’re very excited,” said Tara Tichelberger, 23.

“But it's colder than we expected,” said her friend Sarah Robertson. “We’re not used to the weather being this cold. It was 70 degrees last week in Jackson."

Like many partygoers gathered in the area, the four friends bought blankets from the M&Ms store nearby.

Temperatures are expected to drop to 22 degrees tonight, according to the National Weather Service.

Two tourists from France, who were also waiting in line to get to the viewing sections, said they didn’t mind the cold, yet.

“For now we’re too excited,” said Andy Chirad, a 21-year-old medical student. “Being here is like a dream. We’ve seen (the ball drop) on TV but tonight we’re going to see it for real."

Many people drove or flew in from other states and other countries to be part of the Times Square celebrations.

Natalia Jimenez flew from Costa Rica with her father to be there for her 18th birthday.

“It was always my dream to come see the ball drop…since I was a little girl. It’s so cool and it’s fun. I’m very happy,” she said.

But some revelers said they were only there to feel the atmosphere before heading to other festivities.

“It’s fun to see but I’m not going to stay. It’s way too crowded and I want to be somewhere where it’s warm,” said 38-year-old Helena Moreira from Ossining in Westchester County, who was buying 2015 sunglasses with her daughter before heading back home.