Human Interest

Times Square ball being readied to drop, marking start of 2023

New York, Dec 27 (EFE).- A group of operators on Tuesday are reviewing the mechanism and the 2,668 glass triangles that cover the emblematic Times Square Ball in New York City, which at midnight on Dec. 31 will descend its flagpole over the course of 60 seconds to mark the end of 2022 and the start of the New Year.

On Tuesday, 192 new glass pieces were installed on the sphere on the top of the One Times Square building measuring 3.6 meters (11.8 feet) in diameter and the message of which this year will be the “Gift of Love,” represented by the designs of the new pieces that are composed of a circle of intertwined hearts.

The Waterford Crystal glass ball weighs more than 5,300 kilograms (11,660 pounds) and is illuminated by 32,356 LED lights capable of creating a pallet of 16 million colors and billions of designs that give a kaleidoscope look to the sphere when it’s illuminated.

With the new glass pieces, the sphere will be raised on its hoisting mechanism between 6:00 and 6:03 pm on Dec. 31 to be “dropped” six hours later down the specially designed 24-meter (79-foot) flagpole that supports it.

The New Year’s Eve celebration on Times Square dates back to 1904, when the then-editor of The New York Times, Adolph Ochs, decided to organize an artificial light show for that evening on the roof of the newspaper’s headquarters building to mark the transfer of the organization to its new offices on the Square.

However, it wasn’t until three years later that a ball began to be used, the first one weighing 317 kg (697 pounds), measuring 1.5 meters (5 feet) in diameter and featuring about 100 attached lightbulbs to accompany the New Year’s Eve celebration.

The idea was inspired by the balls used in many seaports, like the one on the roof of the Royal Observatory in London, which was lowered down its flagpole each day at 1 pm to help the captains of vessels synchronize their chronometers correctly before they set sail.

EFE –/bp

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