NYE in Times Square


via Flickr

People usually join together to celebrate the New Year.

Every year, as the clock approaches midnight on December 31, the world’s gaze is drawn to Times Square’s bright lights and frenetic bustle. An estimated one million spectators on the street, people across the country, and over a billion watching online are united in bidding a collective farewell to the departing year and expressing the joy and hope for the year ahead as the famous New Year’s Eve ball descends from the flagpole atop One Times Square. The excitement is palpable, and new Year’s Eve in the symbolic heart of New York City has become a global tradition.

The lighting and lifting of the New Year’s Eve ball atop One Times Square kicks off the festivities. At 6:00 p.m., the ball is ignited and begins its climb, which is accompanied by unique pyrotechnics. The Times Square Alliance sanitation team then begins handing out tens of thousands of wonderful party favors; renowned hats, glasses, and noisemakers help  Times Square revelers to help them cheer for the New Year. As the clocks strike twelve, the entire world holds its breath and cheers as the ball falls.

New Year’s Eve celebrations began in Times Square in 1904, but it wasn’t until 1907 that the New Year’s Eve ball descended from the flagpole at One Times Square for the first time. To usher in the New Year, seven different versions of the ball have been created.

The first New Year’s Eve ball measured 5 feet in diameter and weighed 700 pounds. It was composed of iron and wood and was ornamented with one hundred 25-watt light bulbs. It was created by a young immigrant metalworker named Jacob Starr and his company. Sign maker Artkraft Strauss was in charge of lowering the ball throughout most of the twentieth century.

Every year, the brilliant Waterford Crystal Times Square New Year’s Eve ball attracts millions of viewers from across the world. At 11:59 p.m, the ball starts its drop, with voices joining together to count down the final seconds of the year and celebrate the beginning of a new year that is sure to be full of hopes, challenges, changes, and aspirations.

Times Square’s New Year’s Eve is a truly international spectacle today. Hundreds of thousands of people still congregate around the Tower, now known as One Times Square, every year to see the famed ball-lowering ritual, which takes place in the bitter cold of a New York winter. Each year, a worldwide audience of approximately one billion individuals watches the event thanks to satellite technology. The dropping of the ball has become a worldwide emblem of the New Year’s greeting.