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Special Event

Millennium 2000: Twenty-Four Hours of Partying Concludes in Times Squares

Aired January 1, 2000 - 6:23 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

COLLEEN MCEDWARDS, CNN ANCHOR: Well, it was said the fireworks show in Washington, D.C., rivaled the festivities in Times Square. People began gathering in New York City in anticipation before dawn yesterday.

CNN's Richard Roth joins us now live from the Big Apple, where the cleanup's under way.

Richard?

RICHARD ROTH, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Colleen, the party is over here in Times Square, 24 hours of celebrations, especially those hourly bashes timed with the various millennium New Years across the globe, have now concluded just moments ago. Dancers from Western Samoa Islands finished some very colorful dances here.

And now we're starting to see the final remnants of what was at one point estimated to be somewhere between a crowd of 2 to 3 million people, starting to now take leave of Times Square, the Crossroads of the World.

Maybe we can take a look at some of the people on the sidewalks here, some of them a little bit, perhaps, inebriated, others sidestepping a lot of confetti and things like that. And you see police still with heavy guard, what's known as a frozen zone around here in Times Square. Normally it's the Broadway shows and the theaters that are packed nightly, and matinee shows, but for the last 24 hours the big show right here in the heart of Times Square. They set up a stage, and they've had dancers and performers.

There was also a miniburst of confetti just now, a sort of a last gasp of this big millennium bash. About six hours ago, though, this was really packed, as a large Waterford crystal ball, 1,000-pound ball, descended to bring in the new year.

CROWD: ... five, four, three, two, one...

ROTH: There were no serious injuries reported. There were only a handful of arrests. New York City Mayor Giuliani and others beaming with the success of this millennium celebration here in Times Square.

The crowds stretched from here all the way up to Central Park, more than a mile and a half away. And within a few moments, the New York City Sanitation Department is going to go into full swing around here to start cleaning up. One deputy New York City sanitation commissioner said they're estimating that at least 30 tons of confetti will be picked up, and garbage. The count was a little bit lower in previous years.

But from all looks, the streets are already starting to look a little cleaner as crews are starting to lift the garbage into wastebaskets. Garbage cans around here were sealed up, along with manhole covers, to protect against any potential terrorism packages, but nothing of the sort occurred. And New York City has suffered no noticeable Y2K glitches at all.

So everybody had a good time at the party. Yes, they say you should always leave a party before it really ends. Well, we're here at the very end of this millennium bash here in Times Square.

This is Richard Roth, CNN, reporting live.

Back to you, Colleen.

MCEDWARDS: All right, thanks very much, Richard, for hanging in there.

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