Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor to lead NYC New Year's Eve countdown

New York City is going to kick in the new year with one of its own: U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, a native of the Bronx, has been tapped to lead the Times Square countdown on New Year's Eve on Tuesday.

The announcement was made Sunday by the organizers of America's highest-profile New Year's Eve event, which typically features star performances and always concludes with the dropping of a ball to mark the stroke of midnight.

Sotomayor -- who grew up in the Bronx housing projects and became the first Latina on the nation's highest court in 2009 -- will push the button to start the dropping of the ball, and will lead the final 60-second countdown to the new year, organizers said.

“Justice Sotomayor is an inspiration to many, and it is a privilege to welcome her to our celebration to ring in 2014,” Times Square Alliance President Tim Tompkins said in a statement. “Who better to join us in the Crossroads of the World than one of New York’s own?”

Sotomayor won't be the only Latina to play a high-profile role at the ceremony, with musical artists El Dasa and Jencarlos Canela among the musicians giving performances in the closing hours of 2013.

Rap duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Miley Cyrus were also scheduled to perform. 

Last year's countdown was led by New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, whose third and final term as mayor will expire with the arrival of the new year. His replacement, Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, was scheduled to be sworn in Wednesday by former U.S. President Bill Clinton.

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