Total Inspiration

The Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball Drop Ritual


Valerio Spagnuolo

Dec 31, 2013

This is going to be one of the most beautiful and social New Year’s Eve Ball Drop in history.

This year the ball will be made up of hope and positive messages. As Times Square New Year’s Eve executive producer Jeffrey Strauss said,  ”The New Year’s Eve Ball in New York’s Times Square will feature Waterford crystal panels in the “Gift of Imagination.” This will include a panel with the design of a single rose bloom- recreated from a  2011 drawing by 12-year-old Coraliz Martinez, a bone cancer patient at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.”

This will also be the manifest of the Internet and social media. It will be possible to follow the ball drop on Twitter “@times square ball” and by downloading the apposite app created for the event. Here you can find a guide of how to follow the whole event with the schedule and live webcasts.

“The ball actually tweets,” Strauss said, “and we have people all over the world, we have 180 countries, who participate by tweeting with the ball, watching our webcast, and counting down with us at midnight.”

The first New Year’s Ball Drop was created on Dec. 31st 1907 and the ball was created from wood. A quick history bit- the name Times Square has been taken from the New York Times that was headquartered there in 1904. The city of New York started to celebrate NYE there, and because of the potential danger from fireworks (in a place surrounded by skyscrapers) the first ball drop was alternately inaugurated.

Based on the official website of Times Square, here are the most important events from the ritual:

- 1907: “The first New Year’s Eve Ball, made of iron and wood and adorned with one hundred 25-watt light bulbs, was 5 feet in diameter and weighed 700 pounds” 

- 1920: “a 400 pound Ball made entirely of wrought iron replaced the original”

- 1955: “the iron Ball was replaced with an aluminum Ball weighing a mere 150 pounds. This aluminum Ball remained unchanged until the 1980s”

- 1981: “red light bulbs and the addition of a green stem converted the Ball into an apple for the “I Love New York” marketing campaign from 1981 until 1988″

- 1995: “the Ball was upgraded with aluminum skin, rhinestones, strobes, and computer controls, but the aluminum Ball was lowered for the last time in 1998.”

- 1999: “the millennium celebration at the Crossroads of the World, the New Year’s Eve Ball was completely redesigned by Waterford Crystal and Philips Lighting”

- 2007: “for the 100th anniversary of the Times Square Ball Drop tradition, Waterford Crystal and Philips Lighting crafted a spectacular new LED crystal Ball. The incandescent and halogen bulbs of the past century were replaced by state-of-the-art Philips Luxeon LED lighting technology that dramatically increased the brightness and color capabilities of the Ball”


We’ve selected some of the most beautiful ball drops in history, Happy New Year & Get Inspired in 2014!

1. 1981/1982 - First ball with Big Apple – I Love NY logo

2. 1999/2000 - Golden millenium celebration

3. 1995/1996 - Super bright ball

4. 2007/2008 - LED anniversary ball

5. 2003/2004 - Super flashing colors

6. 2008/2009 - Biggest ball

7. 1990/1991 - First colors


The New Year's Eve Ball, which measures 12 feet and weighs 11,875 pounds, and is adorned with 2,688 Waterford crystal triangles of various sizes is tested atop One Times Square in New York

New York Tests Times Square New Years Eve Ball

Test text here