10 Things You Never Knew About The New Year's Ball In Times Square

12/31/2013 06:39 am ET

For over a hundred years, the New Year's Eve Ball in Times Square has made an epic drop which we regard as the official start of a fresh calendar.

This year, about a million people will tackle freezing temperatures to watch it live. Another hundred million will sit glued to their TVs as parties rage around them.

All for a Ball? Well, not just any Ball. This one's got some history...

1. The first New Year's Eve Ball dropped from a flagpole in 1907 to rally attention to the new New York Times building. Made from iron and wood, the Ball was decorated with a hundred light bulbs.

2. Six years after the first Ball drop, The New York Times moved to a new building. One Times Square is now totally empty except for a Walgreen's, offices for a New Year's planning company, and the Ball on its roof.

3. The Times Square Ball has changed size and style seven times. From 1981 to 1988, it had a stem like an apple... as in "the Big Apple."
times square ball 1981

4. The Ball couldn't drop on New Year's Eve in 1942 and 1943, due to wartime dim-outs. Reverent crowds still came to Times Square for moments of silence.

5. The crystal triangles on the current Ball actually change every year-- this year, their theme is "Gift of Imagination." The 2014 triangles have been cut so they "appear to be endless mirrored reflections of each other.”
one times square

6. Organizers will throw an actual ton of confetti -- by hand -- onto Times Square after the Ball's descent. A few days before, they throw test confetti off various buildings to make sure it won't scratch somebody's eye. During showtime, handwritten wishes from tourists are mixed into the confetti shower.

7. For the last few days, volunteers have been pedaling on stationary bikes in Times Square to generate electricity that will power the Ball drop this year.

8. The current Ball is a whopping (or not so whopping, depending on what you expect) 12 feet wide. It weighs over 11,000 pounds.
times square ball 2012

9. You can see the Ball all year round-- it's visibly perched on the roof of One Times Square.

10. The Ball's journey down the pole takes a full 60 seconds.

...and we can't wait for every one of them this year!

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