The famed Waterford Crystal ball will once again take center stage as the world ushers in a new year.
What You Need To Know
- Every year, workers perform maintenance work on the Waterford Crystal-covered ball
- The Times Square New Year's Eve ball has more than 2,600 crystals, weighs nearly 12,000 pounds
- Due to the pandemic, Times Square will be closed on New Year's Eve
- Spectators will have to watch on TV or online
On Sunday, crews took their time replacing some of its more than 2,000 Waterford Crystals. The massive and iconic symbol is 12 feet wide and weighs 12,000 pounds.
“It’s going to go up and come down, as it has every year for over 100 years because in these crazy times, there are some rituals we want to continue,” said Tim Tompkins, the president of the Times Square Alliance.
Though the ball is ready for showtime, the show itself will look different because of the pandemic. On New Year's Eve, Times Square and the surrounding streets will be completely closed off to the public. That means the only way to watch the ball drop is online or on TV.
“It’s good people have to stay home," said New Yorker Winifred Boakye. "At least 2020 is ending.”
Organizers pre-selected 40 essential workers and their families to watch the celebrity performances and ball drop in person. They will be in separate socially distanced pens.
The guests of honor include a grocery store clerk, a COVID-19 tester and a teacher.
Elia Pacheco teaches second grade. She said 2020 has been tough and that she is happy it is ending.
"Yes please, I’m over it," said Pacheco.
Times Square is much quieter these days because of the coronavirus outbreak. The difference will be obvious on Thursday without the 400,000 spectators that that usually attend the ball drop.
“Even hough it's really complicated with all the health restrictions, we wanted to give people and nurture that sense of hope." added Tompkins.
It's a small victory in what’s been a difficult year, and a glimmer of hope for the year to come.