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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
New Year's Eve Late Coverage
Aired December 31, 2013 - 00:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: And a Happy, Happy New Year to all of my East Coast friends.
I'm Brooke Baldwin live here in New Orleans. Keep in mind, the party is still rolling on. You just saw the party end in Manhattan. We are here in New Orleans, where we are just about, looking at my clock, 28 minutes away from midnight, from a new year here and from (INAUDIBLE), as well.
What you're looking at right now, this is the Honey Island Swamp Band. So it's a -- but just enjoy a little of the music here.
Take a listen.
BALDWIN: If you know New Orleans, you know that music is so much part of the soul of the city. And you see some of these umbrellas behind me, let me tell you, it is cold for this time of year in New Orleans. But it's hot, hot, hot when you feel just the passion among this crowd.
People here from really, actually, all over the world, enjoying what will be the fleur-de-lis drop. And we'll take that live for you.
You can hear the band. They've got one more (INAUDIBLE). There's a huge screen here. You can feel the energy in this crowd.
There will be fireworks in about 25 minutes.
So stay with me as we ring in the new year here in style in New Orleans, baby new year on top of Jax Brewery and the fleur-de-lis drop.
We have so much else covered for you in the next half hour.
Let me take you to my friend, Susan Hendricks.
She is live -- love, love Music City.
She is live in Nashville, where a rocker on stage there, as well, Hank Williams, Jr.. -- hey, Susan.
SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Brooke.
I know you were here a couple of years ago. And this thing has grown immensely. They were expecting 70,000 people here tonight. I think they exceeded that.
I was up on stage right near Hank Williams, Jr. He's up there, by the way, behind me.
And you look out and you see so many people. We're talking about 70,000 all along Broadway. As you know, it's called "the bash on Broadway."
And this is a huge bash. We're waiting for the music note to drop, midnight. Then we're going to bring in the new year here in Nashville.
And Hank Williams, Jr.. really is what people came here for today. I spoke to two women, they were from Kentucky. And they drove all the way here just to see Johnny Cash.
HANK WILLIAMS, JR.: Now, ladies and gentlemen, since all you 70,000 out there, you and CMT are the ones that voted it. The number one country video of all time is "All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight."
Well, here's the one that's right under it, "The Real Me."
HENDRICKS: And there he is, the icon on stage behind me, Hank Williams Jr.
And he said, "All my rowdy friends are coming over tonight" and the crowd went wild. You may remember, he was the voice of "Monday Night Football" for 22 years, and a remake of that song. So I tell you, the 70,000 plus people here are loving what's on stage behind me -- Brooke, back to you.
BALDWIN: Susan, thank you so much.
I love that. A little Johnny Cash off the top there from him.
Thank you so much.
That city is rocking, rocking tonight.
We are rocking tonight in New Orleans.
I should tell you where I am. I am standing, if you can tell, by (INAUDIBLE) morning here. But we're standing in Jackson Square. This is all part of this huge celebration here, really, in the middle of the French Quarter, where all these people have come out. It's cold. It's miserable. But it doesn't matter, because we're in New Orleans and we're here to party.
Tell me where you all are from.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Houston, Texas.
BALDWIN: Why did you want to come to New Orleans?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's our first New Year's together and we just wanted to spend it here.
BALDWIN: You wanted to spend it here?
What are your impressions of this crazy, amazing night?
I feel like this feels like Oz, this city.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Very active. Very active.
BALDWIN: Do you believe in resolutions?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ah, sometimes. Sometimes I take it (INAUDIBLE).
BALDWIN: How about you, resolutions?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, boy, just have a great 2014.
BALDWIN: Have a great 2014.
Thank you so much. It is so nice to have you here. I love your masks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Happy New Year!
Happy New Year.
BALDWIN: Here in Jackson Square, we've still got these playing -- these guys playing behind me. We've been listening to music for the last couple of hours here, everyone sort of swaying along in the crowd. Music the soul of New Orleans.
Let's take another listen here. Here we go, The Honey Island Swamp Band.
Take a listen.
BALDWIN: All right, 17 minutes away here from the fleur-de-lis drop in New Orleans.
Stay with us CNN.
We're going to roll you through midnight Central Time.
Much more happening here in The Big Easy.
Stay with me on CNN, hash tag cnnnye if you want to Tweet us, Instagram. And stay tuned. We're going to take a look at how they rang in 2014 in Beijing.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Matthew Chance on the River Thames in London. And these are the final moments of 2013. You can see the giant clock ticking down the seconds to 2014 behind me. It's true that in the past few minutes, it started to pour with rain. But it is not dampening the spirits of the tens of thousands of people who have gathered here, who have now started their final countdown.
CHANCE: There you have it, Anderson, a spectacular fireworks display. And a special one, too, because the organizers say they're filling the air with the aromas and the flavors of fresh fruit. (INAUDIBLE) these colors making it a very tasty start, indeed, to 2014 here in London -- Back to you.
BALDWIN: Matthew Chance, thank you so much.
That was Matthew earlier.
Gorgeous there in London. The massive light show, you see that, the London eye (ph) along the River Thames. That was the chimes. That was Big Ben. And hundreds of thousands of people cheering.
It's already 2014 there and in Indiana, as well, where celebrations, including, of all things, of course, watermelons falling from the sky.
Gary Tuchman was there to witness it all -- Gary, what was -- last year, sardines, this year, watermelons. 2014 where you are. Happy New Year, my friend.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brooke, Happy New Year to you. And it was a wild night here in Vincennes, Indiana.
We're in the Bottoms Up Bar right now in Vincennes on the base of the Wabash River, just across the river from Illinois. And there are not have many sober people here, I will tell you that right now.
I also want to tell you what happened in Vincennes, a unique celebration. A 500 pound watermelon that's made of steel is lowered down to the ground and 14 regular watermelons representing 2014 come out of the bottom of it and splat on the ground. We talked about it all night.
Well, the moment of truth came and the lights turned off. And no one could really see the 14 watermelons that came out of the 500 pound watermelon. But we can assure you that it is the year 2014 here in Vincennes, Indiana, population 18,000.
And lots of people here are having fun.
Vanessa (ph), did you see the watermelon drop, the big one?
VANESSA: I did.
TUCHMAN: Yes, what did you think about it?
VANESSA: It was awesome.
TUCHMAN: You know, one of the reasons that people to come here to see the watermelon drop is this is one of the watermelon capitals of the United States.
Do you know how many watermelons are grown here in Knox County every year?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Probably more than I can count.
TUCHMAN: More than you can count. Twenty million is the exact number.
Carey (ph) is over here.
Did you see the watermelon drop, Carey?
CAREY: I did, for the first time.
TUCHMAN: And (INAUDIBLE)?
CAREY: This is our -- the sixth anniversary of the watermelon drop in Vincennes, Indiana.
TUCHMAN: It is the sixth anniversary, indeed. And that's why I was just asking her the question. I wanted to see if you know.
How many watermelons are dropped -- are grown here in Knox County, Indiana every year?
CAREY: I'm not sure of the amount.
TUCHMAN: Take a guess.
CAREY: Oh, um 30,000.
TUCHMAN: Thirty thousand?
Well, you're only off by 19,000,970. Twenty million watermelons. And that's why they do it here. And 90 percent of Indiana's watermelons are grown here in Knox County. So that's why they have this very unique celebration.
Gallagher, Brooke, you know the comedian Gallagher, he's been around for a long time?
He specializes in smashing watermelons. And he was emcee and he smashed watermelons. And anyone who was within 200 feet of the stage got soaked with watermelon juice.
The final tip I want to tell you, Brooke Baldwin, and I've said this all night and this is the most amazing thing I've learned today, is that watermelons are not only a fruit, they're a vegetable and they're also a gourd. And that is my word for the day on this New Year's, gourd, because I still -- no one has told me exactly what a gourd is. I've heard the word. I don't know what constitutes something being a gourd. But a watermelon is a gourd, Brooke.
Happy New Year to you in New Orleans.
BALDWIN: OK. That is my take-away in these final two minutes of 2013, it's a gourd.
Gary Tuchman doing his homework for us on watermelons in Indiana.
Gary, thank you so much.
And, you know, I love my job. I get sent to New Orleans to ring in New Year's Eve, live TV, to have some fun. We get to meet a lot of very interesting people here in doing what we do at CNN.
But I have to tell you, it requires a lot of planning on the part of CNN staffers. I mean you should see the crew that I'm surrounded by right now, not only across here in the U.S., but of course, all around the world. We're a global network.
So this kind of cool. Take a look behind the scenes as we CNNers got ready to ring in 2014, beginning in India.
SUMNIMA UDAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is how thousands of Indians on the banks of the holy Ganges River are getting ready to ring in 2014. Many here believe it's good luck to start the year in reflection, prayer and a purification ritual.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not even 10:00 in the morning and it is freezing -- Anderson, I heard you were going to get a winter coat. I hope you got it.
MARGARET CONLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And right now, it's about 12:30. We are still in the initial stages of setting up stuff. A few more hours to go. The guys on the truck and the truck op are the ones that actually make this whole thing work. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here we are up at the platform, ANDERSON COOPER 360.
We're keeping warm and having a good time. The lights are on. The shows are happening.
BALDWIN: OK, here's the deal. We're trying to set up for where I'll be live, where you'll see me on TV. These guys right now are trying to figure out how I can stand out here and hopefully not get soaked in New Orleans, have a good time, show you the music, bring you the feel, bring you the soul of the city, and ring in 2014.
We'll see you tonight.
SESAY: Double ear plugs in for the noise (INAUDIBLE).
JASON GREENSPAN, CNN AUDIO ENGINEER: So as you can tell, it's kind of loud out here. Come midnight, this place is going to be ridiculously loud. So part of the problem is getting -- making sure that everybody can hear each other, including the two people, Anderson and Kathy, who are standing right here. It's going to be really hard for them to hear, so I have to make sure that they hear each other whereas...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What?
IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I brought you to the bustling coastal city of Tel Aviv to ring in the new year. We'll be coming to you tonight from the hottest party in the city.
TUCHMAN: This is the big attraction for the night, the giant watermelon, where 14 watermelons are going to fall out of the bottom. Tune in tonight to see, in just a little bit more than eight hours. See you tonight.
BALDWIN: We're in New Orleans. We're in New Orleans. Take a look.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
BALDWIN: So we are in New Orleans. We are just about eight minutes away here from the fleur-de-lis drop, which is on top of Jax Brewery here at Jackson Square, to ring in the new year, to ring in 2014 in the Central time zone, with an amazing, awesome crowd here at Jackson Square.
Please stay with me.
I'm staying up late with you, as we count down these final minutes.
And as we go to break, let's take a look at one of the first places to ring in 2014.
I give you Auckland, New Zealand. (VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: How beautiful is that?
We are taking you all around the world for all the celebrations, because we're CNN, and that is how we roll.
That is Dubai, Middle East, featuring 400,000 pyrotechnics coming out of that building. In fact, "Guinness" has already declared it a world record, rolling in here to 2014.
Back here in the States, an awesome New Year's Eve party tonight here in New Orleans, where they will be dropping the fleur-de-lis. It is atop Jax Brewery. We're in Jackson Square here in the French Quarter.
Also, in Music City in Nashville, they're dropping, of course, appropriately, a music note. And that is where Susan Hendricks is there -- Susan, we're getting very close.
Happy almost New Year's.
HENDRICKS: Happy almost New Year's to you, too, Brooke.
It's getting very close. It's very exciting. Seventy thousand people are here. Hank Williams, Jr.. taking a short break, but they are teasing he will be back on the stage to ring in 2014.
And, as you know, Brooke, you were here, that music note will fall at midnight. And, boy, will it go nuts here.
We're hearing them say we're going to hear screams, confetti -- 20 pounds of confetti and also fireworks will be here. And, of course, the headliner, Hank Williams, Jr.. Who a lot of people I spoke to flew -- a woman flew in from Canada to see how -- Hank Williams, Jr.. Also, someone drove in, a couple of women from Kentucky. And that's who they wanted to see.
And, boy, did he perform. And what a show it was. But he's not done for the night. He's going to be back out to ring in the new year.
Back to you -- Brooke.
BALDWIN: Susan, we are 30 seconds away.
So let's give everyone fireworks in both cities, shall we?
I'm going to stop talking, because I want all of you to take this in, the fleur-de-lis and the music note drop and all the fireworks that are about to happen.
So let's take a look and enjoy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Happy New Year, New Orleans.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Happy New Year!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Happy New Year!
Peace and love.
BALDWIN: Take a look at that, as I wish you a happy, happy 2014. Live, beautiful fireworks over the Mississippi River here in New Orleans and there in downtown Nashville.
It has been an amazing 2013. I am so grateful -- I am so grateful, as I'm ringing in 2014, for all of you for watching. May you have a blessed wonderful 2014.
From all of us here at CNN, best wishes for you in the new year.