New Year’s Eve crowd in NYC’s Times Square still parties despite coronavirus limits

Across the U.S., other events were being planned in multiple cities – including Nashville, Tennessee, site of Fox’s "All-American New Year" celebration

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Happy New Year! 

2022 arrived in the U.S. as the clock struck midnight Saturday in the Eastern time zone.

The traditonal New Year’s Eve party in Times Square in New York City was scaled back for a second year in a row Friday night because of the coronavirus – but optimism for the new year remained intact.

City officials and NYPD brass were limiting the gathering to 15,000 people for the annual midnight ball drop, a decades-long tradition that normally attracts far greater numbers.

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As usual, those in crowd in Midtown Manhattan included people who got there early.

"I’ve been waiting since 2:45 p.m.," Henry Brown, 57, of Manhattan, told the New York Post.

Attendees had to show proof of vaccination, the Post reported.

From left, Christopher Gicostanzo of Canada, Emma Marianni and Zoe Fauchi, both from Paris, France, stand in Times Square while waiting for the annual New Year's Eve ball drop in New York City on Friday, Dec. 31, 2021. 

From left, Christopher Gicostanzo of Canada, Emma Marianni and Zoe Fauchi, both from Paris, France, stand in Times Square while waiting for the annual New Year's Eve ball drop in New York City on Friday, Dec. 31, 2021.  (Associated Press)

"They checked my vaccination card four times," Bryce Steven, 25, of Albany, New York, told the newspaper. "It’s good, though. It means they care about us."

Ja Rule and Ashanti perform at the Times Square New Year's Eve celebration on Friday, Dec. 31, 2021, in New York City.

Ja Rule and Ashanti perform at the Times Square New Year's Eve celebration on Friday, Dec. 31, 2021, in New York City. (Associated Press)

The Big Apple was seeing relatively mild early-winter weather, with temperatures around 50 degrees as the clock neared midnight. Other years have seen far less comfortable conditions.

Revelers are given balloons as they gather in Times Square in New York Friday, Dec. 31, 2021 while attending New Year's Eve celebrations. 

Revelers are given balloons as they gather in Times Square in New York Friday, Dec. 31, 2021 while attending New Year's Eve celebrations.  (Associated Press)

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Across the U.S., other celebrations were underway in multiple cities – including Nashville, Tennessee, site of Fox’s "All-American New Year" celebration. Pete Hegseth, Rachel Campos-Duffy and others hosted the event from the famous Wildhorse Saloon in Music City.

Fox Nation’s Lawrence Jones speaks during Fox's All-American New Year in Times Square, New York City, Dec. 31, 2021.

Fox Nation’s Lawrence Jones speaks during Fox's All-American New Year in Times Square, New York City, Dec. 31, 2021. (Jennifer Golotko/FOX News)

Additionally, Fox News contributor Raymond Arroyo and Fox Nation host Abby Hornacek were reporting from New Orleans' French Quarter, while Fox News congressional correspondent Aishah Hasnie was in Folly Beach in Charleston, S.C.. And Fox Business correspondent Madison Alworth watched revelers ring in the new year from Tampa, Florida.

Fox News’ Cortney O’Brien contributed to this story.