Dec. 28 (UPI) — The iconic crystal ball, which will descend in New York City’s Times Square on Tuesday night to usher in the new year, arrived for its setup Friday.
The ball, 12 feet in diameter and weighing 12,000 pounds, is covered with 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles, and will travel down a pole for one minute until it reaches an electric sign that will illuminate “2020” at precisely midnight on New Year’s Day. Known as the “ball drop,” the festive ceremony, witnessed by about a million people in Times Square and more than a billion on television around the world, has been conducted annually since 1907, with the exception of 1942 and 1943 to observe wartime urban blackouts.
“That crystal ball represents hope,” said Tim Tompkins, of the Times Square Alliance, which coordinates the event, “and that’s why people stand in the cold, or in the rain as it was last year, because New Year’s Eve is kind of a reset when we say we need to look forward.”
Visitors will be able to write wishes for the new year on confetti which will be released during the ball drop.
The city government announced that alerts and other updates on New Year’s Eve can be accessed by text.
“By texting NEWYEARSEVE to 692692, we are making it easy for anyone to receive real-time information about this year’s event,” said Deanne Criswell, the city’s Emergency Management Commissioner.
The New York Police Department suggested that New Year’s Eve revelers arrive early, noting that access to Times Square will systematically close as the crowd increases.