New Year's Eve

Burpee Museum Rings In The World's New Years

Dec 31, 2019
Connie Kuntz

It's still 2019 in Illinois, but Burpee Museum of Natural History started celebrating a different country's new year every hour starting at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday. Instead of blowing on store-bought noisemakers and throwing mylar confetti, Burpee opted for a more earth-friendly celebration. They tossed ginkgo leaves and shook handmade noisemakers that were filled with dried seeds.

"Seatbelt plug" by Flickr User Benjamin Goodger / (CC X 2.0)

The Illinois Department of Transportation says state traffic deaths have exceeded 1,000 this year, breaking records since 2008.

Officials say dozens have died during the New Year’s holiday period since 2011, including drivers who tested positive for alcohol. 

As the New Year’s holiday approaches, the agency says police are increasing efforts to keep road deaths down. Scott Kristiansen, with IDOT, says a change in driver’s habits may contribute to the numbers.

Revelers ringing in the new year in Chicago will be able to ride the bus and train for free.

The Chicago Transit Authority announced Wednesday that free rides will begin at 10 p.m. Thursday and run through 4 a.m. Friday. The CTA will increase the frequency of service on some popular routes that night.

The free rides are sponsored by MillerCoors. Organizers say it's a safe travel option for people celebrating.

Riders shouldn't use their fare cards during the free ride period because no refunds will be issued. Signs will remind riders about the free rides.