New Year’s Eve Ball Drop
(Dec 31st, Los Angeles/New York)
The Times Square Ball is a time ball located in New York City's Times Square. Located on the roof of One Times Square, the ball is a prominent part of a New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square colloquially known as the ball drop, where the ball descends 141 feet (43 m) in 60 seconds down a specially designed flagpole, beginning at 11:59 p.m. ET, and resting at midnight to signal the start of the new year.
The event was first organized by Adolph Ochs, owner of The New York Times newspaper, as a successor to a series of New Year's Eve fireworks displays he held at the building to promote its status as the new headquarters of the Times, while the ball itself was designed by Artkraft Strauss. First held on December 31, 1907, to welcome 1908, the ball drop has been held annually since, except in 1942 and 1943 in observance of wartime blackouts. The ball's design has also been updated over the years to reflect improvements in lighting technology; the original design was made from wood and iron and lit with 100 incandescent light bulbs, while its current incarnation features a computerized LED lighting system and an outer surface consisting of triangle-shaped crystal panels. As of 2009, the ball is also displayed atop One Times Square year-round. The event is organized by the Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment, a company led by Jeff Strauss.
The Times Square ball drop is one of the best-known New Year's celebrations internationally. It is attended by at least 1 million spectators yearly and enjoys a national television audience across New Year's Eve specials on several of the United States' major broadcast television networks, along with coverage on several major cable networks. Around a billion people worldwide watch this event on television and over the Internet.
The prevalence of the Times Square ball drop has also inspired similar "drops" at local New Year's Eve events across the country, often substituting balls for other objects that represent local history or culture.
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@NSO Entertainment 2011