It wouldn’t be New Year’s Eve in the Big Apple without the sight of a falling, glittering ball in Times Square and the sound of thousands counting down the last seconds of one year to welcome in 525,600 minutes of another.
On Dec. 27, four days before the big night, the iconic ball returned with a makeover. High above Times Square, workers painstakingly installed new Waterford Crystal triangles, which came with the theme of wisdom.
“Each year we have a different theme. Last year it was happiness, this year it is wisdom. And it’s important for us to have wisdom especially in these trying times as we forge ahead and move forward,” Tom Harris, president of the Times Square Alliance told amNewYork Metro as he oversaw the instillation.
The crystals are clustered together in the shape of large triangles backed by wiring that slot into the sphere. The New Year’s Eve Ball itself is 12 feet in diameter and weighs about 11,875 pounds.
“This is the time of year when we reflect on the past. We honor the present and we look forward to the future. So today as we install these crystals on the ball it’s just a symbol of how far we’ve come, but also how far we need to move forward and there’s a great deal of hope for the future,” Harris said.
That hope also incumbent on the mayor’s decision to, as of now, allow revelers to join in on the celebration despite Omicron ravaging the city. If New Yorkers want to see the ball drop, they must be fully vaccinated and masked up, leaving those yet to get the jab not only susceptible to the deadly virus but also to missing out on the year’s biggest celebration.
Over 15,000 people are expected to attend, unless city officials again change plans as COVID cases continue to rise.
“I’ve been working with the ball for over 27 years and for me I’m not a doctor, I’m not saving lives, I’m not building buildings, but when I feel that emotion, and you know that you’re bringing happiness and a feeling of unity and joy to people, that just fills my heart and that’s what keeps me going year after year. I love that I’ve been doing this for over 27 years. There’s no other moment like it when we’re all counting down together,” Jeffrey Straus, president of Countdown Entertainment, the co-organizer of the New Year’s Eve event told amNewYork Metro as the last of the crystals were slotted into place.