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

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.
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.
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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