The Latest: Wet throngs welcome 2019 in Times Square

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on New Year’s Eve celebrations in Times Square (all times local):

12:05 a.m.

Throngs of soggy revelers have greeted 2019 after a rainy night in New York City’s Times Square.

Fireworks and the drop of a sparkling crystal ball marked the start of the new year in the eastern U.S.

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Christina Aguilera pumped up the crowd, performing in a snow-white dress and coat while partygoers danced in their rain ponchos.

Bebe Rexha sang John Lennon’s “Imagine” just before the midnight ball drop.

Many of the people in and around the square spent nearly half the day in the chilly rain waiting for the ball drop.

Despite the grim weather, some people said they felt energized by the crowd and hopeful the new year would be better than 2018.

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7:10 p.m.

Miserable weather hasn’t stopped revelers from packing Times Square for New York City’s New Year’s Eve celebration.

A drenching rain fell Monday on crowds that formed hours before entertainers including Sting and New Kids On The Block were scheduled to perform.

Partygoers were paying up to $10 for plastic ponchos trying to stay dry.

The weather forced police to scrap plans to fly a drone to help keep watch over the crowd.

Still, some people were smiling and dancing as music played on the sound system while they waited for the evening’s main acts.

New Kids on the Block fan Nyia Williamson says she’s been to the Times Square party 10 times before.

She says this year’s rain isn’t bad compared to past years, when the temperature was below freezing.

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1:10 a.m.

Sting, Christina Aguilera and revelers from around the world are set to welcome 2019 in New York City’s Times Square.

Spectators are expected to start assembling early Monday afternoon for the made-for-TV extravaganza.

The celebration takes place under tight security, with partygoers checked for weapons and herded into pens to await the stroke of midnight.

Last year’s event was one of the coldest on record. Forecasters say this year’s party will take place amid mild temperatures, but possibly rain.

Umbrellas are banned for security reasons.

Rain or shine, performers will try to light up the crowd.

Bastille and New Kids On The Block will perform medleys of their songs on “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.”

Bebe Rexha will perform John Lennon’s “Imagine” just before the midnight ball drop.

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