The Times Square New Year's Eve Ball is celebrating its centennial. More than a million revelers are expected to crowd the streets around Times Square on Monday to watch the lowering of the ball, which has gone 'green' this time.
The over 9,500 energy-efficient LED bulbs use about as much electricity as 10 toasters. The motif this year is "Let there be light'' and features a stylised, radiating sunburst on each of the 672 crystal triangles on the ball, creating a kaleidoscope of hues.
The new design and technology "will make the ball glow like nothing else," said Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance, a business group in charge of the event.
Besides the people present at Times Square - covering a few blocks in the heart of Manhattan - millions all over the world watch the ball beginning to drop at 11:59 p.m. local time.
The ball was first dropped for the New Year's Eve celebration at Times Square in 1907. Made of iron and wood, it weighed 317 kg and was lit with one hundred 25-watt incandescent bulbs.
Over the century, five other versions of the ball were designed to ring in the New Year. In 1999, the ball was made from crystal to welcome the new millennium.
Times Square was named after the Times Building (now One Times Square), the former offices of The New York Times, founded in 1851.