The most famous place to bring in the New Year is without a doubt Times Square. This is where the famous ball descends along its path on a flagpole atop number One Times Square at exactly 11:59pm, taking 60 seconds to make its way to the bottom, when the New Year officially begins on the eastern seaboard of the United States.
Billions of people can watch this event on television or over the internet worldwide, but those who are lucky enough to be in New York for New Year’s Eve will have a real treat this year. Beginning at 4pm the usually bustling Times Square ‘bow-tie’ intersection is closed to traffic, and people begin arriving. The revelers are placed into viewing areas by the police officers, and as one area becomes full, another section begins to fill with revelers.
From 6pm until 6:03pm there is a ceremony to light and raise the Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball into place. The organizers of the event, Tim Tompkins and Jeffrey Straus, together with a few representatives of the Philips Lighting Company will flip the huge switch to light the Ball and begin its rise to the top of the pole to the accompaniment of some cool pyrotechnic effects.
The rest of the evening is filled with exciting surprises and entertainment, including the distribution of tens of thousands of hats, balloons, and lip balm in preparation for the famous midnight kiss. As midnight approaches wishes are read from the “confetti wishes” which are thrown up at the arrival of the new year, while there is a constant flow of singers, dancers, speakers and pyrotechnics to make sure the crowd of revelers is having the absolutely best time possible.
At 11pm Lady Gaga will perform, and from 11:53 pm until 11:59 there will be a special performance of the song “Imagine” by an as yet unannounced performer.
At 11:59pm New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg will have the honor of pressing the button which brings the New Year’s Eve Ball down the 70 foot pole in its world famous 60 second descent. As it arrive at the bottom, the ball’s lights go dark and the numerals 2012 blaze on, signaling the moment of the beginning of the New Year.