The best known New Year's Eve celebration in the United States is in Times Square in New York City. Approximately 1 million people attend the event for the famous "ball drop." A geodesic sphere 12 feet in diameter and weighing over 11,000 pounds is lowered atop a flag pole at One Times Square synchronized with a 60-second countdown to midnight. The tradition has taken place annually since 1907 except when suspended during World War II in 1942 and 1943.
New Year's Eve was first officially celebrated in Times Square in 1904 with fireworks, noise makers and 200,000 attendees.
The first ball, of wood and iron, was made by Jacob Starr. It weighed 700 pounds, was 5 feet in diameter, and covered with 100 light bulbs. Since then, the ball has been replaced six times. In the 1980s, a red and green colored apple replaced the ball signifying the city's nickname "The Big Apple."
For New Year's Eve 1999 the ball was redesigned with new lighting technology. That night the crowd was estimated at 2 million people. In 2007, the current version of the ball debuted for the centennial celebration of the Times Square tradition, covered in Waterford crystal and illuminated by over 32,000 LEDs