CHICAGO (CBS) — With Chicago preparing for its first major outdoor New Year’s celebration, safety remains a constant concern in the face of terror threats against other major cities.
CNN has reported President Barack Obama was briefed on possible security threats over the holidays before leaving on his Hawaii vacation. Among the threats was a warning of possible attacks in New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., between Christmas and New Year’s.
The threats did not mention Chicago, but organizers of the Chi-Town Rising festivities said they’re confident their security plan is solid. The event begins at 7 p.m. downtown, and organizers were expecting around 10,000 people in the area for the big party.
The main event is a countdown to midnight, featuring a 70-foot star rising up the side of the Hyatt Regency Chicago hotel along the Chicago River, followed by a fireworks display and music from Grammy award-winning rock band Chicago.
Before that, there will be live music at a stage on Upper Wacker Drive, a gala at Navy Pier, and more events downtown.
Organizers said they’re working with a private security firm, along with the Chicago Police Department and Chicago Fire Department to ensure safety for the big party.
Navy Pier also is expecting big crowds for New Year’s Eve, and is expected to have several security checkpoints. Officials have discouraged visitors from bringing large backpacks in order to ensure safety.