December 31st, 2010
03:50 PM ET

Revelers come from far and wide for New Year's celebration

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/12/31/art.teambetty.jpg caption="'Team Betty' is already in Times Square eagerly awaiting tonight's performance by iconic boy band New Kids on The Block."]

Jim Spellman
CNN All Platform Journalist

Times Square, New York (CNN) — There really is no place like Times Square on New Year’s Eve. People come from all over the country, even all over the world, to be part of the celebration. With the midnight ball drop still many hours away, tens of thousands of revelers have already filled Times Square.

Jennifer Dudley drove overnight from Detroit with four of her friends to get a front row seat.

“Why? Because we love the guys. We support them. They give us love so we love them back.”

“The guys” in question are New Kids on the Block. The Kids may not be so new anymore, and at 30 years old neither is Jennifer, but they are performing in Times Square tonight along with their one time boy-band rivals The Backstreet Boys.

Dudley has been obsessed with NKOTB since she was 8 years old. She is partial to Donnie Wahlberg. Her homemade sign reads “Donnie-Kiss me at Midnight please!”

Their group calls themselves Team Betty. None of the five women have been to Times Square for New Year’s Eve before, but they often travel to see “the guys.” Earlier this year they even went on a New Kids on the Block Caribbean cruise.

Her teammate, Christy Sims, 35, is hoping to make a New Year’s Eve love connection.

“My husband is New Kid Jonathan Knight, he just doesn’t know it yet.”

Not everyone here is a NKOTB fan. Victoria D’amico, 35, came all the way from Vancouver to be a part of the big celebration. She took a red-eye flight and arrived at 3 am.

“Vancouver is like snoozeville compared to Times Square. Now I know what all the excitement is about.”

She is even making a love connection of her own, strolling arm-in-arm with Terry Manning, a man she call’s her “redneck boyfriend.” He is sporting a camouflage Harley Davidson baseball cap. She’s wearing an elegant red top coat and high heels.

In another environment they may seem an odd couple, but not in Times Square on New Year’s Eve.

“I’ve been watching it on TV since I was a little girl. Now I’m finally here. This is a memory in the making.”

Polly Isran is strolling through the crowd with a group of friends. She came from Chicago to watch the ball drop, but won’t actually be watching it along with crowd.

“My friend has an apartment at Times Square right at 47th and Broadway. Were going to watch it on TV.”

She eyes my CNN ID badge before saying that there are two things that make watching it on TV better than watching in person.

“The bathroom is key, plus we can watch Anderson Cooper.”

Filed under: Jim Spellman • New Year's Eve 2011
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Codie

    The article should note that "Team Betty" is a team created for the Komen for the Cure walks to raise awareness and money to help find a cure for breast cancer. It is named "Team Betty" after New Kid on the Block, Danny Wood's mother, Betty, who died of the disease.
    Team Betty has raised a lot of money for the cute!

    January 1, 2011 at 11:38 am |
  2. megan

    that's interesting where i live we are haveing wine beer and we are riding horses! oh and i forgot ong thing we are going to the lake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 31, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  3. melanie

    great article, but the sign says danny :). team betty is for his late mother.

    December 31, 2010 at 7:38 pm |
  4. Ertilde

    I'm from Brazil and I love Jonathan Knight!!!! My great and love!!!!

    December 31, 2010 at 7:33 pm |
  5. Mimi

    Dear All
    Happy New years.
    Too all in a good night too all.

    I will have fun with my 2 Pets Cat 12 Nora , Lola my puppy 3.

    Mimi Rubinelli

    December 31, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  6. victoria

    wow..thats crazy..i was there for new years 09 and it was crazy there...but to be honest, i couldnt even stand in line to wait, i was freezing..im not used to that cold weather....i didnt get to see the ball drop which is what i wanted to see so bad

    December 31, 2010 at 4:15 pm |