Times Square organizers test New Year's Eve ball drop ahead of 2016

TIMES SQUARE, Manhattan (WABC) -- Just in time for New Year's Eve, organizers of one of the world's largest celebrations ran a test run of the Times Square ball drop.

The nearly 12,000-pound crystal sphere was raised to the top of One Times Square some 36 hours before it officially rings in 2016.

The ball will officially begin its one-minute descent down the 130-foot pole at 11:59 p.m. Thursday.

The ball drop tradition began on New Year's Eve all the way back in 1907, and seven versions of the ball have been designed to signal the New Year.

Fun facts about the New Year's Eve ball, courtesy of the Times Square Alliance:

--The ball is a geodesic sphere, 12 feet in diameter, and weighs 11,875 pounds.

--The ball is covered with a total of 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles that vary in size, and range in length from 4 3/4 inches to 5 3/4 inches per side.

--For Times Square 2016, 288 of the Waterford triangles introduce the new Gift of Wonder design composed by a faceted starburst inspiring our sense of wonder that nourishes the seeds of knowledge and achievement. Last year's Gift of Fortitude design utilized diamond cuts on either side of a crystal pillar to represent the inner attributes of resolve, courage and spirit necessary to triumph over adversity. The remaining 2,112 crystal triangles feature the Gift of Imagination design with a series of intricate wedge cuts that are mirrored reflections of each other inspiring our imagination.

--The 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles are bolted to 672 LED modules which are attached to the aluminum frame of the Ball.

--The ball is illuminated by 32,256 Philips Luxeon Rebel LEDs (light emitting diodes). Each LED module contains 48 Philips Luxeon Rebel LEDs - 12 red, 12 blue, 12 green, and 12 white for a total of 8,064 of each color.

--The ball is capable of displaying a palette of more than 16 million vibrant colors and billions of patterns that create a spectacular kaleidoscope effect atop One Times Square.

For a complete history of the New Year's Eve ball, visit TimesSquareNYC.org
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