Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball gets 288 dazzling new crystals
The Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball got a facelift on Thursday, four days before the ball drop ceremony that will ring in the new year.
Workers installed 288 new crystals onto the 6ft tall sphere that represents this year’s theme of peace.
“The ball has 2,668 Waterford crystals. And every year about 10% of them get replaced with a new theme,” explained Tim Tompkins, president of Times Square Alliance and co-producer of the event.
“This year’s theme is <<Let There Be Peace>>. And so they’ve carved that and also they carved a dove onto the piece of crystal which is the symbol of peace.”
One of the crystal triangles was engraved with the name of Dick Clark to pay homage to the longtime New Year’s Eve telecast host who died on April 18 this year at the age of 82.
He had hosted the annual Times Square New Year’s Eve broadcast for the past four decades.
“He spent 40 years in Times Square when the celebration was small and crazy and now it’s huge and wild,” Tim Tompkins said.
His wife Kari Clark received and installed the crystal triangle on behalf of her late husband.
“It’s very special,” she said of the tribute.
“Of course, it would be to him too. He was such a sentimental guy that things like that would really mean a lot to him.”
When asked what she would do the first New Year’s Eve without her husband, Kari Clark said that she will be celebrating in Times Square.
“People said to me, <<What are you going to do this year?>>. And it was, <<What I do every year>>,” she said.
“I don’t know anything else to do, to tell you the truth. I want to be here. And they are doing a special tribute to Dick from eight to ten, so I want to be here for that too.”
She admitted to the Examiner: “I will miss the kiss this year, but I know I will still feel his presence and I hope you will too.”
Each of the new 288 crystals, designed by Waterford, bears a design of a dove surrounded by rays of sunlight.
Last year the ball was decorated with 288 “Let There Be Love”-themed crystals, and in 2010, it got 288 new triangles designed around the “Let There Be Courage” message.
Of the remaining crystals, 1,152 feature a “Let There Be Joy” design and 960 bear the original “Let There Be Light” sunburst motif.
Though the dazzling triangular panels look fragile, they are built to withstand harsh weather conditions and extreme temperatures, as the current ball, introduced in 2007 for the 100th anniversary of the ball drop ceremony, now lives year-round atop One Times Square.
This year’s New Year’s eve broadcast, which is expected to reach more than one billion people across the globe, will be hosted by television and radio personality Allison Hagendorf.
The Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball in numbers:
- The ball is a geodesic sphere, 12 ft in diameter, and weighs 11,875 lbs
- It is covered with 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles that range in length from 4¾ to 5¾ inches per side
- The ball is illuminated by 32,256 Philips Luxeon Rebel LEDs, making it capable of creating a palette of more than 16 million colors
- The ball requires just 22 watts of power – the same energy it requires to power just two home ovens
- On Monday night, it will descend a 141 ft tall flagpole to mark the new year