The Ball Drop in New York Times Square

Hi, guys, how’s your last day of 2019 going so far? As usual, I suddenly came out some ideas from nowhere on how we are going to celebrate NYE 2019 when I woke up this morning. So I have being busy so far and this is so normal for me on any Eves.

First, the sun is out  and the temperature is getting higher today. So I bathed about half an hour in the beautiful sunshine in my lush backyard and feel like a new-born baby after a week-long cold and gloomy weather. I guess this is a great way to finish 2019.

Then I have a desire to learn a little bit of the Ball Drop history because  I just read that  Waterford finished their crystal panel installation at Time Square for tonight’s Ball Drop.

So here is the little history about the Ball Drop: the first fall drop started in 1907 and the ball was made of wood and iron with 100 incandescent bulbs designed by Artkraft Strauss. 

1907 Ball Drop Times  Square
1978 Ball Drop Times Square

Since then, there are several updates on the ball design.  There are altogether 7 versions.  in 1999, to celebrate the arrival of the  new millennium, the fourth-version ball was  replaced by a new design constructed by Waterford Crystal.  This  fourth ball, measuring 6 feet (1.8 m) in diameter and weighing 1,070 pounds (490 kg), incorporated a total of over 600 halogen bulbs, 504 triangle-shaped crystal panels provided by Waterford, 96 strobe lights, and spinning, pyramid-shaped mirrors. The ball was constructed at Waterford’s factory in Ireland, and was then shipped to New York City, where the lighting system and motorized mirrors were installed.

1999-2000 Ball Drop

In honor of the ball drop’s centennial anniversary, a brand new fifth design debuted for New Year’s Eve 2008. Once again manufactured by Waterford Crystal with a diameter of 6 feet (1.8 m), but weighing 1,212 pounds (550 kg), it used LED lamps provided by Philips (which can produce 16,777,216 or 224colors), with computerized lighting patterns developed by the New York City-based lighting firm Focus Lighting. The ball featured 9,576 energy-efficient bulbs that consumed the same amount of electricity as only 10 toasters. The 2008 ball was only used once, and was placed on display at the Times Square Visitors Center following the event.

2008–2009 Ball Drop Times Square

For 2009, a larger version of the fifth ball was introduced—an icosahedral geodesic sphere lit by 32,256 LED lamps. Its diameter is twice as wide as the 2008 ball, at 12 feet (3.7 m), and contains 2,688 Waterford Crystal panels, with a weight of 11,875 pounds (5,386 kg). It was designed to be weatherproof, as the ball would now be displayed atop One Times Square nearly year-round following the celebrations.

Yearly themes for the ball’s crystal panels continued; from 2008 to 2013, the ball contained crystal patterns that were part of a Waterford series known as “World of Celebration”, including themes such as “Let There Be Light” and “Let There Be Peace”. For 2014, all the ball’s panels were replaced, marking a new theme series known as “Greatest Gifts”, beginning with “Gift of Imagination”.

The numerical sign indicating the year (which remains atop the tower along with the ball itself) uses Philips LED lamps. The “14” digits for 2014 used Philips Hue multi-color LED lamps, allowing them to have computerized lighting cues. And you can read the rest story by clicking here.

So basically the ball we saw today was constructed in 2009 and Waterford changes the triangle panel design yearly based on the different themes.     Here are some photos for this year’s triangle panel design:

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Workers install Waterford Crystal triangles on the Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball on the roof of One Times Square in New York, Dec. 27, 2019.
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192 new triangles adorned with the 2020 Gift of Goodwill pattern of three pineapples, the international symbol for hospitality. The new Gift of Goodwill design features three pineapples, the traditional image of hospitality and goodwill.

The Waterford Ball is illuminated with 32,265 LEDs and is capable of displaying billions of patterns.Morgan Korn/ABC News
The ball is covered with 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles and weighs 6 tons.Morgan Korn/ABC News

A select group of 100 Waterford employees — from engineers, glassblowers and technicians — are involved in the design and manufacture of the New Year’s Eve Ball, a process that begins in mid-January.

And you can read about this year’s design story by clicking here

And of course you can watch their ball drop live stream tonight on their website.

In case you’ll be ringing in 2020 with a glass of bubbly in hand, watching the New Year‘s Eve Ball descend from its flagpole atop One Times Square and crooning. Let’s get cozy in style. I have some recommendations for you:

Shop Waterford NYE Time Square Collection

Waterford 2020 Times Square Flute Pair



Waterford 2020 Times Square Flute Pair Ultra Violet


Waterford Times Square Flute Pair Ruby


Waterford Crystal 6th Edition 12 Days of Christmas Champagne Flute, Six Geese-a-Laying


Waterford Crystal Times Square 2014 Red Flutes, Pair


Waterford Crystal 2015 Times Square Clear Toasting Flutes – Set of 2 Glasses


2016 Waterford Times Square Wonder Flute, Pair



2020 Times Square Snowglobe


Have a Great Last Day of 2019