Tons Of Trash After Times Square Bash

The big ball is not all that drops in Times Square on New Year's Eve.

As revelers headed home early Monday, the first day of 2007, work crews moved in to sweep up the remnants of 2006. Their mission: picking up 3.5 tons of confetti — a record-setting amount — as well as sandwich bags, food wrappers and other debris from the big bash.

"This is so sad," said spectator Anna Koenig of DeKalb, Ill. "Boy, are people going to be up late cleaning our mess."

More than a million revelers packed Times Square to greet 2007 with cheers, kisses 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 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.

Greg First and his 14-year-old daughter, Erika, traveled to the event from Lavonia, Mich., outside Detroit.

"I've watched this for 40 years on TV, no joke," said First, 43. "I wanted to be here just once."

The two had waited since 10 a.m. and brought apples and nuts so they wouldn't have to move, because if spectators left, they had no chance of getting back to the front-row spots.

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."

Police provided security for a crowd they estimated at more than 1 million people, according to WABC-TV, and officials said everything went according to plan. Spectators passed through police checkpoints, no big bags or backpacks were permitted and bomb-sniffing dogs roamed the crowd.

Public drinking was banned, and visitors were herded into a series of viewing pens that prevented them from bar hopping.
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    Scott Conroy is a National Political Reporter for RealClearPolitics and a contributor for CBS News.

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