Skip to Content

Facts About the New York Ball Drop: America’s Unparalled Celebration

Facts About the New York Ball Drop: America’s Unparalled Celebration

For a once-in-a-lifetime way to start the New Year, there’s only one choice: New Year’s Eve in Times Square in New York City. Join a million revelers from all over the globe at the biggest New Year’s Eve party in the world — it’s shoulder to shoulder mayhem from start to finish, and an experience you’ll never forget.

The annual New Year’s bash officially begins about six hours before midnight, with world-class live entertainment and lots of corporate swag. It culminates at midnight with the traditional ball drop, fireworks, and of course, confetti.

A party like no other

Each year billions of people watch the ball drop on television; about a million brave the cold and attend the celebration in person. To be part of the partying throng, you’ll need to get there early — the closest viewing areas fill up as early as 11 a.m., and once you get a spot you’ve got to stay there! Anyone who leaves their spot loses their spot.

Those who’ve attended in past years warn that you’ll be standing in one place for a long, long time with no way to warm up or take a bathroom break.

They advise wearing lots of layered clothing, bringing a sandwich to eat, and not drinking anything after reaching your destination. Others recommend planning a year in advance, making reservations at a restaurant on the square, and watching the celebration from close up while enjoying the beautiful indoors.

Fun facts

The Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration has been a tradition since 1904, and the first countdown ball was dropped in 1907. Starting in 2000, the ball has been made of Waterford crystal — and there’s a huge permanent crystal ball on display year-round above Times Square.

Planning for this epic event begins almost immediately after the previous year’s party is over. In addition to the police officers and sanitation workers on duty, about 500 people are involved in planning each year’s celebration.

To avoid injuring those in attendance, special round confetti is used in Times Square. A small confetti “test run” is done a few days before New Year’s Eve, and in all about a ton of confetti is dropped as the New Year begins.

The Times Square New Year’s Eve event is always high-energy, high excitement and a truly memorable way to bid adieu to the old year and start the new one with joy, hope, and anticipation. It’s a truly memorable way to join in a worldwide celebration with a million of your newest friends.

Lock In Your Travel Now
Looking for Extra Travel Perks?
My favorite travel companion is The Platinum Card® from American Express, which gives me lounge access, Uber credits, upgrades, and plenty of other travel perks. If you want to find out the best travel rewards credit card for you, consider using CardMatch to instantly get matched to a travel rewards credit card that meets your travel needs.
Booking Flights

Use Skyscanner to book the cheapest flight possible. Skyscanner is my favorite flight search engine as you can find flights around the globe and from every airline possible. You'll be in great shape to get the best price possible.

You must grab a free trial or join Scott's Cheap Flights Premium to get cheap flight alerts directly to your email inbox. My favorite cheap flight alert was 25,000 Delta SkyMiles to London non-stop.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It's a low cost way to ensure your travel plans go smooth no matter what's thrown at it. Use World Nomads to find the best policy for your travel schedule.
Book Your Accommodation
In order to capture the widest selection of properties and the best price, use Booking.com as they have the cheapest rates for guesthouses, hotels, luxury condos, B&Bs and so much more.
Want More Destination Ideas Direct to Your Inbox?
Be sure to join the ViaTravelers Newsletter for expert tips, tricks and inspiration for your next travel journey!