Every year in New York City thousands, maybe even millions by some estimates, crowd the city streets and Times Square to watch the ball drop and ring in the New Year. Most of the other 299 million Americans sit at home and watch Dick Clark, and now Ryan Seacrest as well, live from the center of New York City. Here in Cincinnati, while it may be on a much smaller scale, an old tradition is coming back to life; ringing in the New Year at Fountain Square.
Suburbanites, locals, folks from across the river in Kentucky and visitors staying in the nearby hotels crowded the square. At 11:45 PM on December 31, 2008 the large 'jumbotron' television atop the Macy's building was switched to ABC, displaying the 'Dick Clark Countdown.' At 11:58 with two minutes to go until 2009, the massive tv screen switched to a live video feed of the square. Then it was midnight, officially 2009, officially a new year. The video screen kept to the live video feed, no countdown, no announcement, no music...nothing. Myself and the people around me checked cell phones and watches. "Mine says it's midnight." "Mine says it's 12:01!" Confused, the onlookers began cheering, it was the new year. At 12:03 A.M. on January 1st, 2009 the fireworks finally launched and on the screen a 60 second countdown began. Despite it's late start, the crowd counted down and cheered. In Cincinnati, at 12:04 A.M. it was declared to be the new year, 2009. The technical glitch was soon forgotten as music blared, fireworks were launched and a celebration ensued:
Happy New Year.