For some, Times Square countdown begins early

December 31, 2011 - 1:20 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — People have already started to stake out space in Times Square in anticipation of New York City's big New Year's Eve bash.

Revelers wearing party hats and "2012" glasses were camped out inside metal police barricades on Seventh Avenue.

Houston tourist Megan Martin staked out her space with her boyfriend at 10:30 a.m. The 22-year-old says that sitting on cold asphalt all day might be painful, but "the memories last forever."

Meanwhile, workers are busy setting up for the party. Some were carrying bags stuffed with hundreds of skinny balloons stamped with the name of a shampoo company. Technicians were putting colored filters on klieg lights mounted on scaffolds and platforms.

Vendors selling plastic horns were sharing the sidewalk with a woman passing out religious tracts.