The famous glittering orb, which was created by the historic Irish house of Waterford, was fitted a spate of new crystals on Monday, just a few days before it is due to descend at 11:59 pm on Friday, December 31, to mark the beginning of 2022.
The mesmerizing geodesic sphere, which measures 12 feet in diameter and weighs 11,875 pounds, comprises some 2,688 sparkling crystal triangles that are crafted from the finest Waterford crystal and bolted to 672 LED modules for added glow. Each year, Waterford adds 192 new facets to the ball with designs from the yearly “Greatest Gifts” collection. This year’s “Gift of Wisdom” design, which marks the ninth in the series, will be included next to the past seven designs and last year’s “Gift of Happiness” pattern.
“We’re here today replacing 192 of the Waterford crystal triangles on that ball behind me with a new design, ‘the Gift of Wisdom,'” Jeffrey Strauss, president of Countdown Entertainment, told Reuters. “It’s represented by a wheel with these petals of knowledge growing ever forward.”
Fewer revelers will be able to see Waterford’s creation in person this year, though. For the second year in a row, the Times Square festivities will face tight restrictions due to the pandemic. In a normal year, roughly 60,000 people would watch the ball drop, but attendance has been capped at 15,000 on account of the Omicron outbreak. No visitors will be admitted until 3 pm ET, either, which is much later than in past years. Proof of vaccination will also be required, along with face masks.
Organizers are still expecting plenty of virtual attendees to tune in across the globe, with stars such as KT Tunstall, LL Cool J, Journey and Chloe taking the stage at this year’s celebrations.
“We’re going to have more than a billion revelers around the world joining us on TV and on the internet celebrating,” Strauss added. “It’s the one moment where we all come together, even if it’s just for 60 seconds as we countdown towards 2022.”
You can watch the Times Square New Year’s Eve celebrations on ABC, NY1 and/or the Times Square Alliance’s live webcast, which begins at 6 pm EST.
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