DALLAS -- "We were actually just crossing the street and saying that we should come down here for New Year's Eve!" said Carol O'Daniel of Waxahachie, walking into the American Airlines Center with friend Stephany Galloway of Ennis.
They came Friday night to cheer on the Mavericks.
"Every year, I always say we need to go there next year," Galloway said of the Big D NYE party at Victory Plaza, which she's watched on TV for years. An estimated 35,000-to-40,000 people attend.
Hopefully the women will let this year be the year, because it's being billed as the best yet.
"Listen, I'm a little prejudiced I must admit, but I think every year the fireworks get better and better," said Dave Muscari, WFAA's Vice President of Product Development.
Fireworks over the largest New Year's celebration in the central time zone -- that's one reason to watch. Another reason is music.
Featured this year will be: Forever the Sickest Kids, big recording artists from Dallas, who've recently returned from touring the world; Leogun, a rock band from London; Breaking Southwest, which won the Texas Motor Speedway's Fast Track to Fame Competition; and Pentatonix, an a cappella group from Arlington. They won the NBC show, "The Sing Off."
The show has grown tremendously in its six years, yet it's entirely free.
"It's syndicated in six or seven states and in 26 markets - like Houston, New Orleans and Austin," Muscari said. "This is a huge undertaking for television station. Probably 35,000 of our closest friends attend, a labor of love, so to speak."
Olive Street will be partially closed starting Saturday evening. Then Houston and Field streets will be closed Monday.
For the first time, American Airlines Center is simulcasting the show inside on the big screen. And on WFAA's digital channel 8.3, viewers can watch a live feed of the ball dropping in Times Square.