New Year’s Eve in New York

Every New Year’s Eve, millions of people count down the seconds until the new year starts. One of the most popular New Year’s celebrations is in New York Times Square. This televised event shows the famous ball drop as the new year begins. The shiny, bright ball has changed over the years with seven different designs. This tradition dates back to 1907 when Jacob Starr built the first New Year’s Eve ball.

The New Year’s Eve ball is now known as the big sparkly ball, but it didn’t always give a kaleidoscope-like look. Back in 1907, the ball was much smaller and made with very different materials. The 700-pound ball was only 5 feet in diameter and was decorated with 100 35-watt light bulbs. Today the ball is about 12 feet in diameter and weighs over 11,800 pounds. It is surrounded by 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles and has over 32,200 different LEDs. The New Year’s Eve ball has made its debut every year since then, except in 1942 and 1943 due to the war. Instead, crowds gathered that year for a minute of silence and the chimes of different trucks.

 The New York celebration was also much different this year when 2021 began. Due to Covid-19, crowds were not allowed to be gathered in Times Square. However, this did not stop the ball from dropping. Many people watched live streams of the iconic ball drop to start in 2021. A few people were in Times Square though. To honor all those who were on the frontlines of the pandemic, a few essential workers were invited. We are thankful to everyone who has continued to keep us safe and work hard over 2020. Over 30 different people were invited with their families to watch the ball drop safely and as a thank you for working so hard. Not everyone could safely quarantine in their homes, and many had to continue to work hard no matter if they were at risk. New York honored a selection of them from a pizza delivery man to a postal service worker, to an ER doctor, to a vaccine researcher.

The New Year’s Eve celebration at Times Square continues to change but remains one of the most famous celebrations for this occasion. The iconic ball continues to evolve with new technology. No matter the circumstances, there has continued to be a celebration in Times Square ever since 1904. *3…2….1….HAPPY NEW YEAR!*