Each year, millions of eyes from all over the world are focused on the sparkling Waterford Crystal Times Square New Year's Eve Ball. At 11:59 p.m., the Ball begins its descent as millions of voices unite to count down the final seconds of the year, and celebrate the beginning of a new year full of hopes, challenges, changes and dreams.
For a list of hotels at or near Times Square, click HERE.
Below, you'll find a list of hotels that have VIEWS of the Times Square Ball drop.
Times Square New Year Info
The Times Square New Year's Eve Ball descends from a flagpole at the top of One Times Square. It can best be seen along Broadway, from 43rd Street to 50th Street, and along Seventh Avenue, as far north as 59th Street. The new Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball is a 12 foot geodesic sphere, double the size of previous Balls, and weighs 11,875 pounds. Covered in 2,668 Waterford Crystals and powered by 32,256 Philips Luxeon Rebel LEDS, the new Ball is capable of creating a palette of more than 16 million vibrant colors and billions of patterns producing a spectacular kaleidoscope effect atop One Times Square.
COUNTDOWN TO 2013
4:00 p.m. If you want to be in the middle of all the excitement and celebrations, arrive early and dress appropriately! You should wear warm winter clothing, especially warm socks and a hat, and ideally carry with you a hot beverage in a thermos. Average temperatures for this event are typically 32°F or 0°C. Revelers start arriving late in the afternoon on New Year's Eve. By approximately 4:00 p.m., the Bow Tie of Times Square (42nd to 47th Sts. Between Broadway & 7th Ave.) is fully closed to traffic. Vehicles will most likely have difficulty traveling across town after 6:00 p.m. above 42nd Street as far north as 59th Street. If you are planning to come to Times Square and join in the festivities, you are advised to enter from Sixth or Eighth Avenue. Your chance of getting a viewing spot near the Ball (at Broadway & 43rd Street) increases the earlier you arrive. The blocks will be closed off as they fill up northward, street-by-street, as the police deem necessary. Revelers are directed by the NYPD to gather in separate viewing sections. As one section fills up, the revelers are directed by police to the next viewing section. As the evening progresses, revelers continue to fill the Times Square neighborhood along Broadway and Seventh Avenue. Note: The police will set aside a viewing area for the disabled, located on the northwest corner of 43rd Street. However, this area will fill up quickly, and it is advised that disabled visitors arrive early in the day.
6:00 p.m. At approximately 6 p.m., the raising and lighting of the Times Square New Year's Eve Ball takes place—the traditional kick-off for the evening's events. The New Year's Eve Ball is raised to its highest position atop the 77-foot flagpole at One Times Square (Broadway at 43rd Street), marking the official beginning of Times Square New Year's Eve. Music will continue throughout the evening marked by hourly countdowns.
6:58 p.m. Hourly Video Countdown begins! The video screens are at One Times Square (where the Ball is lowered) as well as at Broadway and 50th Street, Broadway and 52nd Street, Broadway and 54th Street and Broadway and 58th Street. Two minutes of sound effects and music culminate in a 30-second video countdown on the giant screens to mark the end of each hour. The music and sound effects are heard using a wireless surround sound system specially engineered for the Times Square New Year's Eve celebration.
7:10 p.m Times Square 2009 Hats, Balloons, Pom-Poms, Confetti Bags and Scarves The Times Square Alliance sanitation crews clad in bright red uniforms begin to distribute tens of thousands of fun handouts to the Times Square revelers for cheering in the New Year. Nivea is providing festive blue New Year’s Eve hats and blue balloons tied with silver mylar ribbons along with useful Nivea Lip Care products to keep everyone's lips looking and feeling beautiful for that unforgettable kiss at midnight. 3 Musketeers is providing pom-poms to cheer in the New Year, confetti bags, and their delicious chocolate mini- bars. Pepsi is providing New Year’s Eve scarves to keep the revelers warm and happy.
10:00 p.m. Beginning at 10:00 p.m., a live video feed of the celebration in Times Square is sent to broadcasters worldwide.
10:30 p.m. The Times Square wireless surround sound system begins running continuously to heighten the excitement of the rapidly approaching New Year.
11:55 p.m. Balloon Release 1,000 3-foot balloons featuring the words JOY, HOPE, and 2009 will gently drift down from setback roofs throughout Times Square onto the revelers below as they prepare to countdown the final seconds to the New Year. Pepsi is energizing the revelers by bringing back the big bouncing balloons that were last seen in 1999 as part of the 24-hour millennium celebration.
11:59 p.m. At one minute to midnight, the Mayor and the Times Square special guest push the button that signals the final sixty-second countdown prior to the Ball Lowering. The Countdown Stage is located at the center island on Broadway between 45th and 46th Streets.
The lighted Ball descends rapidly in sixty seconds.
Midnight—New Year's Day!! Marking the New Year at the stroke of Midnight, the light bulbs on the New Year's Eve Ball are turned off as the numerals of the New Year burst to life shining high above Times Square. The world-famous New Year's Eve confetti is released from rooftops of buildings throughout Times Square as the revelers celebrate the New Year. A two-minute burst of fireworks light up the night sky to ring in 2009.
Some Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What will the weather be like? A: The National Weather Service reports that strong winds and very cold temperatures will result in wind chill readings dropping to near zero on New Year's Eve. Dress warmly and wear multiple layers.
Q: Will there be portable public restrooms available? A: No.
Q: Is alcohol or champagne allowed? A: No. Public drinking is illegal in New York City. Police will confiscate alcohol.
Q: How much are tickets to this event? A: This event is FREE and open to everyone. However, to get the best view, arrive early in the afternoon.
Times Square New Year's Eve is located in the Theater District neighborhood of Manhattan. For Broadway fans, dining and staying in and around the theater district is a must. Depending on whom you ask, the theater district spans approximately from Sixth to Eighth Avenues between 41st and 54th Streets. From the hustle of the Port Authority Bus Terminal to the bustle of 42nd Street and Times Square, much of New York's dazzling vibrancy and energy emanates from this area. Below we offer our advice on favorite places: HOTELS: Right at the crossroads of Times Square you'll find the Hilton Times Square, with its stunning views and close proximity to all the boogie of Broadway. A block north and east takes you the charming boutique hotel called the Casablanca, with just 48 rooms and a private rooftop deck beloved for its views of the Times Square New Year's Eve celebration. One block west and across from the New York Times headquarters is the 45-story Westin Times Square, linked to the E-Walk entertainment and retail complex. West 44th Street has a number of great hotels, including the Art Deco Millennium Broadway, the luxurious French-American Sofitel and Ian Schrager-designed boutique hotel Royalton just across the street. A block north and close to Eighth Avenue you'll find the well-known budget hotel, the Milford Plaza known also as the "lullaby of Broadway." Right at Broadway the perennial favorite Marriott Marquis has a soaring atrium and glass elevators. Just north you'll find the chic and trendy W New York Times Square, and further east the even more chic and über-trendy Night Hotel. Back to Broadway a just a block north around 46th Street is the convenient and comfortable Doubletree Guest Suites, which is a great option for families. A bit further west on 46th Street is another stylish Ian Schrager gem, the Paramount; to the east you'll find a stunning inspiration in The Muse. A final recommendation is just slightly outside the Theater District, but so close, so impressive, and overlooking the New York Public Library. Called the Bryant Park Hotel, it indeed has a wonderful view of popular Bryant Park as well. Click HERE for a complete list of hotels in the Theater District. RESTAURANTS With dozens of fine dining, casual, ethnic and fast-food restaurants to choose from, the Theater District is a food mecca. Remember to let your server know if you have theater tickets and need to finish your meal in a set period of time! First off, the block of West 46th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues is well-known as Restaurant Row for its many offerings and wide variety of cuisines. Here you will find everything from traditional steakhouse fare at Broadway Joe to Italian Jewish cuisine at Lattanzi, to a great selection of beers and world cuisine at Joshua Tree. All around the theater district are big theme restaurants, ranging from ESPN Zone to the perennial favorite for barbecue Virgil’s. Enjoy excellent and quick Chinese food at Ollie’s. If great steak is your thing, head to the Palm or Ruths Chris. Other wonderful pre-theater possibilities include DB Bistro Moderne for excellent French bistro fare and the splendid new American cuisine at Thalia. If you crave great ethnic food and want to go a bit further afield, superb Ethiopian cuisine can be had at Queen of Sheba, and right nearby visit Hallo Berlin for a taste of Germany. One of our favorite all-American locales, The Pony Bar offers a few modest dishes to complement its dozens of superb craft beers. Your options certainly aren't limited to Restaurant Row or luxury restaurants. Obviously in Times Square, the crossroads of the world, you’ll find the chain restaurants you see all over America, some with supersize versions such as Chevy’s and Red Lobster. Happy dining!
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