BREAKING NEWS: So many changes are being made to some of New York's most legendary and popular annual events throughout the year due to this continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the latest changes is New York's annual NEW YEARS ROCKIN' EVE in Times Square.
According to Mayor Bill de Blasio, this year's edition of New York at New Years ringing in 2021 will be a unique virtual celebration. He along with Times Square Alliance president Tim Tompkins promises to still keep that tradition alive of celebrating what would generally be down as a social gathering street party now from the comfort of your own homes.
New York at New Years has been a tradition since 1904. Originally sponsored by The New York Times (after moving into Longacre Square renaming it after them as it is today…. Times Square), it was initially concieved as a fireworks show which over 200,000 spectators attended the event. After several years of fireworks, the New York Times decided it was time to update their game. In 1907, Adolph Ochs (founder of the New York Times) hired sign designer Artkraft Strauss to construct a ball that was built from iron and wood, electrically lit with one hundred incandescent light bulbs, weighed 700 pounds, and measured 5 feet in diameter. It was hoisted on the building's 70 foot flagpole by ropes pulled by a team of six men. It would officially dropped at 10 seconds before midnight, once it hit the roof of the building, the ball was designed to complete an electric circuit to light a 5-foot-tall sign to light up on all four sides of the building, indicating the new year, and trigger a fireworks show.
Over the years, the design of that famous Times Square ball has been updated over the years to reflect improvements in lighting technology. The current incarnation features a computerized LED lighting system and an outer surface consisting of triangular crystal panels. These panels contain inscriptions representing a yearly theme. Since 2009, the current ball has been displayed atop on Times Square year-round, while the original, smaller version of the current ball that was used in 2008 has been on display inside the Times Square visitor's center.
With January 1, 2021 now 100 days away, the organizers of the New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square provided a preliminary teaser of how the event will change in response to the changes and challenges of 2020: a virtually enhanced celebration that brings Times Square and The Ball to you digital…
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