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Millions of U.S. Revelers Ring in 2007

More than 1 million revelers in Times Square greeted 2007 with cheers, kisses and a whopping 3.5 tons of confetti at the city's massive New Year's Eve party.
( [email protected] ) Jan 01, 2007 04:06 AM EST

NEW YORK, (AP) -- More than 1 million revelers in Times Square greeted 2007 with cheers, kisses and a whopping 3.5 tons of confetti at the city's massive New Year's Eve party.

The famously flashy New Year's Eve ball dropped down a flagpole to a countdown chorus led by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and U.S. servicemen and women. Longtime host Dick Clark ticked off the final 20 seconds from a television studio.

As the ball dropped, Amanda Bermudez, 19, kissed her new husband, Angel Bermudez, 21, an Army soldier who recently returned from Iraq. They were married Dec. 2 at their home in Fort Hood, Texas, and came to New York for their honeymoon.

"My New Year's resolution is to work on my marriage and be a good mother," said Amanda Bermudez, who just found out she's pregnant.

She also hoped for peace in the Middle East in 2007.

"So he doesn't have to go back," she said, glancing lovingly at her husband.

Partygoers from all over the world poured into the area hours before the clock struck 12 to snag prime viewing spots. The happy crowd cheered and laughed, apparently unfazed by hours of standing and waiting without much water or food — or bathrooms.

Spectators passed through police checkpoints on their way to the party. Large bags and backpacks were prohibited, and bomb-sniffing dogs roamed the crowds.

Jurie Smith and his family traveled from Johannesburg, South Africa, for the event. They waited nearly 12 hours to see the ball drop.

"This is the best place in the world to ring in the new year," he said. "The spirit of the place is amazing. I feel so alive being here."

Public drinking was banned again, and visitors were corralled in a series of viewing pens to curtail their ability to bar hop until the show ends.

The lack of alcohol didn't bother Lena Zellers, 22, of Pittsburgh, who was attending the event with friends from New Jersey. She wore a "Happy New Year" tiara and "2007" sunglasses.

"I came here to be here, not to be in a bar down the street," she said. "You can drink anytime."

More than a dozen major acts performed during the six-hour bash, including pop singer Christina Aguilera, country band Rascal Flatts and the cast of the Broadway musical "Jersey Boys."

Dick Clark was back for ABC's "New Year's Rockin' Eve" broadcast for the second time since a stroke caused him to skip a broadcast in 2004; he co-hosted with Ryan Seacrest.

Clark had a little trouble with the 20-second countdown, starting about a second behind the ABC clock and the chanting crowd and then skipping ahead from 11 to 9 as he tried to catch up.