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PHOTOS: Times Square prepares to ring in New Year

PHOTOS: Times Square prepares to ring in New Year

IT'S GONNA BE A BALL: The Times Square New Year's Eve ball drop is a tradition more than 100 years in the making. Photo: Associated Press

Preparations are underway for the annual New York tradition of the Times Square New Year’s Eve ball drop.

Before the 11,875-pound Waterford Crystal ball can drop at midnight, signaling the start of 2014, workers spend days preparing for one of the largest New Year’s Eve celebrations in the world. That included a “practice” confetti drop on Sunday in Times Square, complete with comic book characters. Workers started installing the ‘14’ and other parts of the famed ball earlier this month.

The ball is covered with 2,688 crystal triangles that vary in size and allow it to display different designs with a kaleidoscope of patterns. It takes more than 32,000 LED bulbs to light the famous sphere.

The ball has been lowered every year since 1907, with the exceptions of 1942 and 1943, when the ceremony was suspended due to the wartime “dimout” of lights in New York City. The first New Year’s Eve ball, made of iron and wood and adorned with 100 25-watt light bulbs, was 5 feet in diameter and weighed 700 pounds. Over the years it was replaced several times with aluminum, wrought iron, and in 2007 Waterford Crystal crafted the most recent version.

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