31 December 2013, 10:22

"Ball drop" to bedazzle Times Square yet again

By Vasili Sushko

NEW YORK (VOR)—Over one million people are expected to attend the annual New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square later this evening.

Workers have been prepping for the annual event for weeks, and so has the New York Police Department, which is responsible for maintaining the large crowd. Our New York correspondent Vasili Sushko delves into the over century-long tradition and explains what’s different this year.

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Each and every year, scores of tourists and New Yorkers alike crowd inside New York City’s Times Square to watch a New Year’s celebration unlike any other. The “ball-drop” is a tradition that dates back to 1907, and involves a large, six-ton crystal ball that travels down a flagpole at midnight to ring in the New Year. A prestigious honor is to press the button that initiates the “ball-drop,” and this year that honor goes to Supreme Court Justice and New York native Sonia Sotomayor.

“New Year’s Eve is about inspiration and dreams and dreaming that things can be better in the future and also about looking back where we’ve been and assessing that. She’s done both those things. There’s sometimes when we go with the most significant person in pop culture and there’s other times when we pick someone inspirational and aspirational because that matches some of the themes of New Year’s Eve as well.” – Tim Tompkins, president, Times Square Alliance 

Another tradition is the confetti that will be dropped on top of the crowd of about one million. Over one ton of confetti will be used this year and will be dropped by hand from various surrounding buildings. Some of the confetti will also have written wishes on them. Tompkins said his committee has been garnering those wishes for some time, and hopefully some of those wishes will be granted in the New Year.

“There will be thousands of pieces of confetti that will have people’s wishes for the New Year on them. We have the New Year’s Eve wishing wall. We also have thousands of people who have submitted wishes online and then we print them out on pieces of paper. Some of them are very personal, like when people want to find a boyfriend or they want to get married or want a child and some of them are for the world where they hope for peace or a better world.” – Tim Tompkins, president, Times Square Alliance

Tracie Wolf wrote her wish and it’s no secret to anyone. She told a group of reporters during a press conference on Sunday her only wish next year is to grow her family.

“I wish for another baby to our wolf pack, because we’re the Wolfs so I asked for our baby because we’ve been trying for a long time.” – Tracie Wolf, who wrote a wish on the Times Square confetti

As for the New York Police Department, which will maintain a heavy presence Tuesday evening, their only wish is that the event runs as safely as possible. The area surrounding the ‘Ball Drop’ will be cordoned off. Anyone who wishes to enter the restricted area would be subject to searches of any bags.

vasili sushko, nyc, times square, Ball drop, New Year's Eve, Tim Tompkins, Politics
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