Americans marked New Year's Day with parades, football games, family gatherings and hopes for a good 1989 after putting 1988 to rest with a round of parties and festivals.
Many celebrants awoke on the first day of the year without the traditional hangover - thanks to a growing trend toward New Year's Eve celebrations free of alcohol.A strong contender for the first baby of 1988 in the country was 6-pound, 151/2-ounce James Dux III, who was born about 10 seconds after midnight in New Milford, Conn., as his parents carefully watched the digital clock in the hospital delivery room.
"At the last minute the doctor said we could have a New Year's baby, so we held on and pushed - and bingo," said the elated mother, Marianne Dux, 27. "I believe it will be good luck for the new year. We're overwhelmed with it."
Some 20,000 Mummers strutted through the streets of Philadelphia in their annual New Year's tribute to sequins and feathers. The 89th Mummers Parade drew thousands of people who wanted to check out the marchers' elaborate costumes, despite snow flurries, sleet and 35-degree cold.
Veteran parade watchers Paul Fanelli and Barry Schmader wanted to bring the Mummers to their living room but had to settle for the next best thing.
"We bring down a large (couch) and a family rug and a Lazy Boy and we sit like we're in our living room, but it's live and it's much better," Fanelli said.
Americans had to wait until Monday for another favorite New Year's tradition - the major college bowl games - but they had two NFL playoff games Sunday to fulfill their need for football.
In New York City, a half million people crowded into Times Square to party, watch the traditional ball descend for the 81st year and, on a less celebratory note, pick pockets and sell drugs. Some 2,300 police officers were assigned to handle the crowd and they arrested 52 people on charges such as disorderly conduct, robbery, weapons possession and menacing. On Sunday, sanitation workers swooped in to clean up the estimated 25 tons of trash left behind.
New Yorkers also marked the arrival of 1989 by shooting off fireworks and banging pots and pans. "I love it. I really do," said a resident of ritzy Central Park West.
Los Angeles residents again celebrated with what has become a dangerous tradition - the New Year's fusilade. People fired guns into the air and took potshots at police, slightly wounding one officer in Watts. At least six people were arrested for shooting into the air and the gunfire was blamed for downed power lines and damaged transformers that cut off electricity to thousands.