America welcomes in the New Year in style! Fireworks explode across the night sky on the East Coast as the clock strikes 12 and brings in 2024 – as Times Square’s iconic ball drop passes without incident despite fears of pro-Palestine protests

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Written By Maya Cantina
  • Times Square’s ball drop rang in 2024 with an in-person audience of 1m people
  • Fireworks lit up the sky across the country, as some cities show off their unique traditions like a red shoe drop in Key West, Florida
  • Pro-Palestine protesters were spotted marching just one block away from where the Times Square ball dropped

America is ranging in 2024 with new year’s celebrations as the Times Square New Years Eve ball drop went off without a hitch after New York City prepared for pro-Palestine protests hijacking the event.

At midnight the ball dropped in Times Square and kicked off the fireworks and celebrations across the country.

Fireworks lit up the sky across the East Coast in Miami up to Boston – Key West, Florida had a ‘Red Shoe’ drop to ring in the new year. 

One million people were expected to watch the ball drop in Times Square in person and another billion were anticipated to watch on TV. 

At least one pro-Palestine group was spotted marching from 59th Street all the way down to 45th and 5th Avenue, just a block away from where the ball dropped at midnight. 

The marchers were singing the infamous ‘from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’ chant that has been decried as anti-Semitic by members of both parties in Congress, as well as the Anti-Defamation League. 

NEW YORK: Fireworks explode around the Statue of Liberty during New Year’s Eve celebrations

The Times Square New Years Eve ball drop rang in 2024 without a hitch after New York City prepared for pro-Palestine protests hijacking the event

Times Square Alliance volunteers throw confetti as the clock strikes midnight as seen from the New York Marriott Marquis

Times Square Alliance volunteers throw confetti as the clock strikes midnight as seen from the New York Marriott Marquis

People kiss as confetti flies around after the clock strikes midnight in Times Square

People kiss as confetti flies around after the clock strikes midnight in Times Square

One million people are expected to watch the Times Square ball drop in person and another billion are anticipated to watch on TV

One million people are expected to watch the Times Square ball drop in person and another billion are anticipated to watch on TV

Crowds have been building throughout the day, rushing to closer to the event stage and to get the best view of the ball drop

Crowds have been building throughout the day, rushing to closer to the event stage and to get the best view of the ball drop

Video post on TikTok shows crowds that had been waiting since 5 a.m. eagerly waiting to get past the police barriers

Video post on TikTok shows crowds that had been waiting since 5 a.m. eagerly waiting to get past the police barriers

Revelers wait for the annual New Year's Eve ball drop

Revelers wait for the annual New Year’s Eve ball drop

People sleep on the pavement withina pedestrian pen before the ball drop

People sleep on the pavement withina pedestrian pen before the ball drop

Crowds in Times Square at at Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2024

Crowds in Times Square at at Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2024

A sign in Times Square says 'New Year's Eve Times Square 2024'

A sign in Times Square says ‘New Year’s Eve Times Square 2024’

Crowds cheer in Times Square

Crowds cheer in Times Square

Confetti flies around in Times Square

Confetti flies around in Times Square

People hold balloons in Times Square

People hold balloons in Times Square

The new star of the New Year's Eve 'Red Shoe Drop,' celebrating the beginning of the new year on January 1, 2024, after being 'dropped' in a red high heel at the Bourbon St. Pub Complex in Key West, Florida

The new star of the New Year’s Eve ‘Red Shoe Drop,’ celebrating the beginning of the new year on January 1, 2024, after being ‘dropped’ in a red high heel at the Bourbon St. Pub Complex in Key West, Florida

The Lincoln Memorial is seen during a New Year's Eve celebration in Washington, DC

The Lincoln Memorial is seen during a New Year’s Eve celebration in Washington, DC

At Macy’s in Herald Square, at least one demonstrator set off a bright red smoke bomb and before being escorted out.

The protesters – suggested to be as many as 3,000 by one reporter were also re-iterating the left-wing calls for a cease-fire in Gaza. 

Hundreds of thousands of people have gathered in Times Square as the New Years Eve countdown begins, and one man at the front of the live reveals how he relieves himself while waiting in line.

Crowds have been building throughout the day, rushing to closer to the event stage and to get the best view of the ball drop.

Video post on TikTok shows crowds that had been waiting since 5 a.m. eagerly waiting to get past the police barriers. One man at the front of the pack revealed his secret to going to the bathroom while waiting in line.

‘See these pads? You have to pee in these pads. It don’t matter who you are,’ said the man wearing an orange jacket and Kiss hat.

‘If you leave and you have to use the bathroom or even get water, that’s the problem.’

He said, ‘Whatever you decided to do, you gotta make the best of it.’

The celebrity-filled event included live performances from Flo Rida, Megan Thee Stallion and LL Cool J, as well as televised appearances from Cardi B and others.

 Organizers said in-person attendance is expected to return to pre-COVID levels, even as foot traffic around Times Square remains down slightly since the pandemic. 

CNN will broadcast Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen’s New Year’s Eve Special celebrations. It will be Cooper and Cohen’s seventh year hosting the extravaganza.

Alongside CNN, hosts from other big outlets will also be broadcasting live from Times Square, where the protests are threatening to reach.

ABC’s Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest will be co-hosted by Rita Ora – and performers will include LL Cool J, Megan Thee Stallion, Jelly Roll, and Sabrina Carpenter.

Megan Thee Stallion wore a purple matching two piece set while performing some of her hit songs. 

Celebrations in Times Square kicked off at 6 p.m., when the six-ton crystal ball will be lit and raised up. At 11:59 p.m., the ball will start its one-minute drop in front of hundreds of thousands of cheering party-goers.

In Nashville, stars like Elle King, Thomas Rhett, Trace Adkins, Jon Pardi, Carly Pearce, Blake Shelton and Morgan Wallen are expected to take the stage on New Year’s Eve Live: Nashville’s Big Bash. 

In Key West, Florida, a new drag performer participated in the red shoe drop in the city’s take on a ball drop. 

Cable networks are preparing for the worst amid fears that their live broadcast plans on New Year’s Eve may have to change if disorderly pro-Palestine supporters take over Times Square.

Anti-Israel protesters are threatening to derail December 31 celebrations in the Big Apple.

The NYPD is pulling out all the security stops ahead of the potential violence on the streets of New York City. Protests have been occurring in the city since Hamas brutalized Israeli civilians, triggering a conflict in the Middle East on October 7.

At a press conference on Friday, Mayor Eric Adams said that ‘there are no specific threats to the city,’ but ‘as we saw last year, after having no specific threats we get a threat, and we are going to be ready.’

A group plays card games in Times Square

A group plays card games in Times Square

A reveller wears purple and gold 2024 glasses in Times Square

A reveller wears purple and gold 2024 glasses in Times Square

People wear silver and gold 2024 glasses in Times Square

People wear silver and gold 2024 glasses in Times Square

Revelers sit on the ground in Times Square

Revelers sit on the ground in Times Square

Crowds line up in Times Square

Crowds line up in Times Square

New York Police Department officers check people entering Times Square for the celebration

New York Police Department officers check people entering Times Square for the celebration

Rita Ora and Ryan Seacrest pose at Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve in Times Square

Rita Ora and Ryan Seacrest pose at Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve in Times Square

Jonathan Bennett speaks onstage during the Times Square New Year's Eve 2024 Celebration

Jonathan Bennett speaks onstage during the Times Square New Year’s Eve 2024 Celebration

Gotham FC Kelley O'Hara (left), Ali Krieger (center) and Midge Purce (right) speak onstage in Times Square

Gotham FC Kelley O’Hara (left), Ali Krieger (center) and Midge Purce (right) speak onstage in Times Square

SAFA Chinese cultural performance in Times Square

SAFA Chinese cultural performance in Times Square

Jelly Roll performs at Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2024 in Times Square

Jelly Roll performs at Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2024 in Times Square

Megan Thee Stallion performed during the Times Square New Year's Even 2024 Celebration wearing a purple two piece outfit

Megan Thee Stallion performed during the Times Square New Year’s Even 2024 Celebration wearing a purple two piece outfit

Tyla performs in an all-white outfit during the Times Square New Year's Eve 2024 Celebration

Tyla performs in an all-white outfit during the Times Square New Year’s Eve 2024 Celebration

Sabrina Carpenter performs in Time Square wearing a white dress and white lace gloves

Thomas Rhett peforms in Nashville, Tennessee

LL Cool J performs at Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2024 in Times Square

LL Cool J performs at Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2024 in Times Square

Elle King and Rachel Smith speak onstage in Nashville

Elle King and Rachel Smith speak onstage in Nashville

Rob Schneider speaks onstage for New Year's Eve Live: Nashville's Big Bash

Rob Schneider speaks onstage for New Year’s Eve Live: Nashville’s Big Bash

Performers on stage in Nashville

Performers on stage in Nashville

Lainey Wilson performs onstage for New Year's Eve Live: Nashville's Big Bash

Lainey Wilson performs onstage for New Year’s Eve Live: Nashville’s Big Bash

He was referencing when three cops were attacked by a Maine man, 19, with a machete over US support for Israel on December 31, 2022.

Assistant NYPD Commissioner Kaz Daughtry stated on December 29: ‘We’re going to have tow trucks strategically parked along the actual New Year’s Eve festivities, and we’re going to have drones deployed around the outer perimeter so we can monitor the protests, potential protests that are coming in real time.’

Adams added: ‘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.’

Times Square will be closed off from around 12 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and those who want to get into the area have to go through police checkpoints and security screenings.

Homeland Security and the FBI will be in Times Square, alongside state police, cops on horseback, and canine units.

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