It’s the most celebrated night of the year and the biggest countdown around the world. For ten heart-pounding seconds, all eyes are on New York and the massive glittering ball descending over Times Square. Millions nationwide and over a billion worldwide watch us cheer as the famous ball descends from the flagpole and one ton of confetti is showered over the heads of revelers.
Mixed in with confetti are handwritten wishes from people around the globe–whether it’s a personal goal, a dream for the future, or doing something for the first time, these wishes are scrawled on official confetti and scattered from building tops as part of the Wishing Wall. See how to include yours here.
Since rooftop celebrations began by the owners of One Times Square in 1904, the first New Year’s Eve ball lowering occurred in 1907. There have been several different balls over the years, but a 12-foot geodesic sphere was introduced in 2008 that’s double the size of any previous ball, now weighing in at 11,875 pounds. A year-round attraction in Times Square, this ball only comes to life on that special night next month.
For hotel guests and travelers venturing into the city for this magical night, here’s what to expect in Times Square on December 31st :
Revelers start arriving late in the afternoon on New Year’s Eve. By approximately 3:00 p.m., the Bow Tie of Times Square (42nd to 47th Sts. between Broadway & 7th Ave.) is fully closed to traffic. Revelers are directed by NYPD to gather in separate viewing sections.
6:00 p.m. to 6:03 p.m.
The celebration begins with the lighting and raising of the New Year’s Eve Ball atop One Times Square. The New Year’s Eve Ball is lit and begins its ascent accompanied by special pyrotechnic effects.
The Times Square Alliance sanitation crew clad in bright red uniforms begins to distribute tens of thousands of fun handouts to the Times Square revelers.
An hourly countdown takes place every hour three minutes before the hour.
At 11:59, there’s a sixty second countdown.
The lighted Ball descends 70 feet in sixty seconds. The Ball is covered with 2,688 Waterford crystal triangles and lit by 32,256 Philips Luxeon Rebel LEDs.
The schedule of events is subject to change. Performances have not yet been announced, but can be checked on the Times Square official website.
From the Flatiron District where the MAve Hotel is located, plan to cab before 3pm to Times Square, or take a brisk 10-15 minute walk.