Waterford crystal triangles installed on Times Square ball for New Year's Eve

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The iconic Times Square New Year's Eve ball is being prepared for its annual descent to ring in 2016 later this week.

Workers are installing 288 glittering Waterford crystal triangles Sunday.

They are being added to more than 2,100 other crystal triangles to create what's being described as a "Gift of Imagination" design.

Organizers say it's meant to inspire a sense of "wonderment, fantasy and optimism that nourishes the seeds of knowledge and achievement" for the new year.

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 crystals, designed and crafted by Waterford artisans, are each about 3/8" thick, 4.75" to 5.75" in length, and 6.8 ounces in weight, and are custom-designed and built to exacting standards to withstand the stresses of high winds, precipitation and temperature fluctuation that exist 470 feet above Times Square.

Hundreds of thousands of people in Times Square are expected to watch the ball drop at midnight Thursday. While most native New Yorkers know better than to come down to Times Square the tourists do not. They are expecting to be a big part of the more than a million strong celebrants on Thursday night. Some tourists are even celebrating early by taking all the selfies they can.

The NYPD is already patrolling with heavy weapons, explosive-sniffing dogs to keep the area safe.

Andrew Hernandez and his nephew, Jake are first-timers.

"It will be his very first New Year, it will be my first time seeing it live, and I can't wait for it," says Hernandez.

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