TIMES SQUARE, Manhattan — Workers installed 192 new glittering Waterford crystal triangles on Times Square’s New Year’s Eve ball on Sunday in preparation for a pandemic-limited celebration on Thursday.
The ball is a 12-foot-diameter geodesic sphere covered with more than 2,000 crystal triangles of various sizes. Some new crystals are swapped in every year.
This year’s addition features a new “Gift of Happiness” design represented by a sunburst of bright cuts radiating outward.
The ball, blazing with more than 32,000 LED lights, will be dropped at 11:59 p.m. on New Year’s Eve to ring in 2021.
The Times Square celebration will be much smaller than usual because of the coronavirus pandemic. There will be fewer than 100 people at the Crossroads of the World to ring in 2021.
Doctors, nurses, teachers, grocery store employees and transit workers will be invited to enjoy the celebration in socially distanced pens while everyone else watches from home.
More than 180 million Americans and perhaps one billion worldwide are expected to watch the Times Square celebrations virtually online or on a free NYE app.
The event will be headlined by Gloria Gaynor, Jennifer Lopez, Billy Porter and Jimmy Allen.