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article imagePhoto Essay: NYC's Times Square, a New Year's Eve favorite Special

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By Leigh Goessl     Dec 31, 2012 in Travel
New York - Times Square, one of the most visited sections of New York City, has an interesting history. It is also a popular destination on New Year's Eve for many, whether in person or watching on television.
As New Year's Eve approaches, many people are busily making their plans to ring in the New Year. An estimated one million people will celebrate the coming of 2013 at Times Square in New York City.
While Times Square was, "already ablaze with electric light" at the turn of the 20th century, reported WCBS 880's Alex Silverman, the name "Times Square" wasn't actually given until 1904 when the New York Times moved uptown to its new location.
According to CBS News, the NYT wanted "a party for the ages" and on New Year's Eve 1903, the giant building sparkled in light with hundreds of thousands in attendance.
From there, a tradition was born.
Initially, fireworks were used, but as CBS noted, the ash does not make "good confetti". In 1907, the adopted tradition of lowering of the ball replaced the fireworks; this idea was taken from a maritime tradition.
Tonight, an estimated one million people will wait hours in Times Square awaiting the Waterford crystal ball to lower down as everyone counts down the last minute of 2012 to welcome in 2013.
The ball takes sixty seconds to make its descent. The ball is 12 feet in diameter, weighs close to 12,000 pounds, has 2,688 Waterford crystal triangles and is illuminated by Philips Luxeon Rebel LEDs; this ball was introduced in 2008.
Over the years since its inception  the ball has changed a few times. The current ball  introduced i...
Over the years since its inception, the ball has changed a few times. The current ball, introduced in 2008, is 12 feet in diameter, weights close to 12,000 pounds, has 2,688 Waterford crystal triangles and is illuminated by Philips Luxeon Rebel LEDs.
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A view of the ball  taken around Thanksgiving 2012  weeks after Hurricane Sandy caused devastation t...
A view of the ball, taken around Thanksgiving 2012, weeks after Hurricane Sandy caused devastation to New York and New Jersey. At this time, donation related announcements were very visible in Times Square.
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While New Year's Eve is without a doubt the busiest time of the year in Times Square, this section of The Big Apple is pretty busy throughout the rest of the year too. Here are some recent images of Times Square, along with a couple from earlier years.
New York City s Times Square
New York City's Times Square
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Times Square  New York City
Times Square, New York City
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It is common to see  characters  walking around Times Square. Her a woman poses with Mickey and Minn...
It is common to see "characters" walking around Times Square. Her a woman poses with Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
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Times Square is a popular tourist attraction in New York City. Looking up you can see many brightly ...
Times Square is a popular tourist attraction in New York City. Looking up you can see many brightly colored ads in every direction.
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Times Square 2012
Times Square 2012
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Times Square winter 2012.
Times Square winter 2012.
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Every year millions of people come to Times Square to see the sights  shop or take in a show.
Every year millions of people come to Times Square to see the sights, shop or take in a show.
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Over the years  the ads change  but the atmosphere feels the same at Times Square  an exciting place...
Over the years, the ads change, but the atmosphere feels the same at Times Square, an exciting place to visit.
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Millions of people visit Times Square every year. Come New Year s Eve  this space will be much more ...
Millions of people visit Times Square every year. Come New Year's Eve, this space will be much more crowded.
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A busy sidewalk leading into Times Square. You can see the crystal ball that will drop on New Year s...
A busy sidewalk leading into Times Square. You can see the crystal ball that will drop on New Year's Eve off in the distance at the top right of this photo.
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This afternoon the busy roads surrounding Times Square will be closed down in preparation for the we...
This afternoon the busy roads surrounding Times Square will be closed down in preparation for the welcoming of 2013 where hundreds of thousands of people will stand to await midnight.
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The crystal ball  made by Waterford  will be the main attraction in New York City on New Year s Eve.
The crystal ball, made by Waterford, will be the main attraction in New York City on New Year's Eve.
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Tonight the weather is expected to be below freezing with the wind chill factor in New York City. This, however, is unlikely to stop the crowds from coming down to Times Square, as the cold has not traditionally put a damper in the in the past. The Washington Times has posted today's itinerary for the big celebration. Performances include Taylor Swift, Train and Psy.
Happy New Year! How do you plan to celebrate New Year's Eve?
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