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December 31, 2013

Don't Drop the Ball on NYE Tradition - The Specs of the New Year's Ball in Times Square

By Cassandra Tucker, Copy Editor

It seems like the year has come and gone in a flash. I feel like just yesterday I was celebrating my 22nd birthday (which was in March) or graduating college (in May). The holiday season is just about coming to a close, but before we pack our Christmas trees away or put a hold on Yuletide cheer, we must celebrate the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014. The celebration of the New Year is most frequently associated with the dropping of the ball New Years Eve in Times Square, and this year will be no different.  What may come as a surprise to some, though, is that the ball is always being revamped and advanced, year after year. So what’s the deal this year? They’ve doubled up on the “wow” factor, my friends.

The ball this year may seem like shines a tad bit brighter – and if you notice this you will most certainly be correct. The ball weighs 11,875 pounds and is 12 feet in diameter, and it is covered in 2,688 Waterford Crystals that refracts the light of 32,256 Philips (News - Alert) LEDs – talk about bling. According to PBS, “The crystals have all been replaced with a new design this year, a pattern called ‘The Gift of Imagination.’ Though few see the ball up close, the crystals are carefully crafted with a special meaning for each new year,” bringing a new, inspirational meaning behind the ball drop. The design this year is meant to be an interpretation of New Year’s resolutions that we all conjure up during the last few weeks or even months of the year.

"We thought it would be really hard to interpret how to lose weight, or spend less," said Regan Iglesia, vice president at Waterford Crystal, “but along with pragmatic resolutions, there are also emotional resolutions that many wish for at the start of the a new year. We thought it was appropriate to start with the year of imagination."

What makes this design even more special is that it was the last design created by master craftsman of Waterford Crystals, Jim O'Leary. O'Leary passed away on June 8 from cancer at the age of 69. What a lovely sentiment in O’Leary’s honor to have the ball drop for 2014 dressed in his latest design. So whether you are at the bar with a few friends, sitting on your couch with your dog or braving the cold and crowds in Times Square watching the ball drop – with its array of colors produced by the LEDs and crystals – remember to be thankful for another year, and don’t forget those resolutions.

Photo courtesy of

Edited by Rachel Ramsey
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