CHICAGO - The city of Chicago will once again ring in the new year with a giant star rising up along the Chicago River.
This marks the second year of the city's Chi-Town Rising event. Organizers say extra security is in place. The celebration features music, fireworks and a 70-foot star rising at midnight along the Hyatt Regency Chicago's West Tower. Viewing areas are located along the riverfront between Michigan and Columbus.
CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson said a thousand more police officers will be on the streets tonight, including several hundred plain clothes officers who will be downtown to handle the crowds ringing in the new year at Chi-Town Rising" and on the CTA.
The event is free, but tickets are required for guaranteed entry. It starts at 8 p.m. Those without tickets will be allowed in, space permitting, starting at 9 p.m. There will be security and bag checks. No oversized bags, backpacks or alcohol will be allowed.
The police superintendent will be going out on patrol with officers tonight. After a Homeland Security briefing, he said there are no credible threats to the city, and furthermore the department will have adequate resources also to cover the city's neighborhoods. Area saturation teams and special operations units will be working the streets in the neighborhoods tonight to try to prevent the violence that has plagued the city in 2016.
There were also events earlier in the day. The Chicago Cultural Mile Association hosted its Family Countdown Celebration in Millenium Park from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The event is free and features hot chocolate, cookies and "Around the World for New Year's Eve" - a chance for kids to experience how the new year is celebrated across the globe.
Street closures are in place on N. Stetson Ave. from E. Upper Wacker Drive to E. South Water Street and on Upper Wacker Drive from Michigan Ave. to N. Columbus Drive. Access to the 111 E. Upper Wacker Garage is allowed.