By Jennifer R Jones | Posted on December 31, 2009 10:30 AM
Those of you who enjoy late-night reveling, close proximity to millions of other people, and staying up really, really late in the freezing cold will be in your element tonight--it’s New Year’s Eve, and the biggest party in town is in New York City’s Times Square. Streets start getting roped off as early as 2:00 pm, and partiers often start gathering in the late afternoon to ensure a prime spot. Festivities continue throughout the evening, with musical performances, opening ceremonies at 6:00 pm, and handouts of hats and balloons given out to revelers starting a little after 7:00 pm. Performers and celebrity guests this year include Jennifer Lopez, Daughtry, Taddy Porter, and Anderson Cooper. (Now there’s an eclectic mix). At 11:59 pm Mayor Bloomberg and a special guest will push the button that signifies the dropping of the Waterford crystal ball. This year, the ball has been redesigned to include 300 Waterford crystal triangles woven into a Celtic knot--they are etched with ribbons, angel wings and flames to indicate the theme "Let There Be Courage." The new lights, for those of you on green-watch, replace halogen bulbs, last three times longer, and use about the same amount of energy as it take to light up two regular ovens. At midnight, following the dramatic countdown, confetti is released, shouting and kissing of your neighbor ensues, and we welcome 2010. More than 1 ton of confetti will be dropped. And for those of you who were wondering, the ball-drop tradition goes back to 1907, and the ball tonight will drop 70 feet in 60 seconds. It weighs almost 12,000 pounds. Happy New Year!