December 31st, 2011
12:11 AM ET

After a momentous year, people worldwide to ring in 2012

After a year marked by a wave of popular uprisings, deadly natural disasters and continued economic uncertainty, millions around the world are set to ring in 2012 with a party.

The fun, and the new year, starts first in western Pacific - with 2012 beginning for residents of Samoa, Tokelau and the Christmas Islands at 5 a.m. ET.

From there, the midnight revelry will work its way west. That means fireworks over Sydney Harbor, Moscow, London and places in between.

North and South America will be the last continents to usher in 2012, with small parties and massive celebrations. Many will raise a toast to the new year, with a distinctive "drop" at midnight - from an oversized guitar in the country music capital of Nashville, Tennessee, to a drag queen in Key West, Florida.

One of the most watched such events will be in New York City, where organizers estimate hundreds of thousands will pack Times Square while more than 1 billion people tune in on television.

Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Drake will be among those performing ahead of the 105th annual drop of the New Year's Eve Ball, which weighs in at 11,875 pounds and contains 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles.

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Filed under: U.S. • World
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Pidgeon

    New York City, boyyye!

    Droppin' the ball, uh huh!

    December 31, 2011 at 2:56 am | Report abuse |
  2. Andreas Moser

    And here I explain why you don't need to make any resolutions for 2012:

    December 31, 2011 at 3:56 am | Report abuse |
  3. banasy©

    Happy New Year, everyone.

    December 31, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  4. TORI

    Happy New Year to all. Please be careful out on the roads tonight.

    December 31, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. marta silva

    Gostei muito da noticia,parabens a toda a equipe da CNN

    January 2, 2012 at 6:50 am | Report abuse |