This year marks the 99th Annual New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square, New York City. People gather for miles to await the arrival of precisely one minute before midnight. At this time, a huge crystal ball is lighted atop a flagpole at One Times Square. The ball is then lowered 77 feet in one minute as thousands of onlookers count down the last 60 seconds before the new year. Since 1907 the Ball Lowering has become an American tradition for welcoming in the new year.
The Ball itself is a gigantic sphere measuring six feet in diameter and weighing in at about 1,070 pounds. It is covered with 504 Waterford Crystal triangles. Each year 72 of the triangles are replaced with a new design representing the outlook for the new year. This years’ theme is “Hope for Unity”. All of the triangles are bolted to 168 translucent triangular lexan panels that are attached to the aluminium frame of the ball. The Ball and all of its computer controlled 696 lights and 90 rotating pyramid mirrors is owned by One Times Square. It’s a far cry from the first ball dropped in 1907 which was made from wood and iron, weighed 700 pounds, and was adorned with 100-25 watt bulbs!