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Happy 2006, NYC! Nearly One Million Jam Times Square To Ring In New Year

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TWC News: Happy 2006, NYC! Nearly One Million Jam Times Square To Ring In New Year
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Jazz great Wynton Marsalis pressed the button to trigger the ball drop Saturday night as nearly a million revelers rang in the New Year at the Crossroads of the World.

Temperatures around the freezing level made for a brisk evening in Times Square, but the huge throng kept warm by dancing to performances by New York native Mariah Carey and Mary J. Blige.

Spectators at this year's event received gift bags filled with gloves and various items to help welcome the New Year, including colorful hats and whistles.

John Lennon's "Imagine" played as the clock counted down to midnight, in remembrance of the Beatle great who was gunned down in New York City 25 years ago this month.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg then helped Marsalis trigger the traditional dropping of the ball, a six feet crystal sphere outfitted this year with more than 700 light bulbs on each of its multiple panels.

The ceremony also featured New Yorkers who helped in the recovery effort following Hurricane Katrina, including New York City police and firefighters.

NYPD officials beefed up security for the evening, but said they had received no specific threats related to the celebration.

All 1,753 new Police Academy graduates were on the streets to boost manpower.

The celebration closed down all crosstown streets from 37th to 59th streets, between Sixth and Eighth avenues. Forty-eighth Street was also shut down between Fifth and Ninth avenues.

NYC Transit was scheduled to run extended service in and out of Times Square, with trains running every 8 to 12 minutes until 3 a.m. The Times Square Shuttle was scheduled to run all night.
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