The tradition began on New Year’s Eve more than a century ago, when an iron and wooden ball covered with light bulbs was lowered from a flagpole at One Times Square.
Over the years the ball has been replaced several times, and tonight a new Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball is making its debut. The latest version is a 12 foot geodesic sphere, twice the size of previous balls, and weighs 11,875 pounds (5,386.5 kilos). The new ball is covered in 2,668 Waterford crystals and illuminated by 32,256 LEDs, giving it a palette of more than 16 million colors and the capability of producing billions of kaleidoscopic patterns.
In another first, the new ball will not be put into storage on New Year’s Day. Instead, the New Year’s Eve Ball will now remain on display at One Times Square all year round. Here is a sneak peek at some of the patterns and colors the ball will display tonight.
Have a happy new year!