Ball Drop 2011: Times Square Revelers Ring in New Year

January 1, 2011 Updated: October 1, 2015
Ball Drop 2011: Times Square lights up at midnight EST, announcing 2011 in New York City. (Edward Dai/The Epoch Times)
Ball Drop 2011: Times Square lights up at midnight EST, announcing 2011 in New York City. (Edward Dai/The Epoch Times)

Nearly a million revelers in New York City's Times Square erupted after the 60-second countdown and the famous ball drop marked midnight on Jan. 1, sparking a release of confetti and ushering in 2011.

With 2,688 Waterford crystal triangles, the iconic lighted ball is the largest crystal ball in the world and is the centerpiece of New York's Times Square celebration, which ran its course despite unfavorable weather conditions for some.

Despite the blizzard that hit New York on Dec. 26 and the 40-degree cold weather on New Year's Eve, the merrymakers brought warmth back to the "City That Never Sleeps."

"Happy New Year, America. Times Square['s too] crowded but fun," tweeted @AnnisaSuharno. 

New Yorkers donned 2011 hats, glasses, and apparel and crowded the busy intersection and streets several blocks away.

Swaths of couples had their first kiss of the New Year after the countdown struck zero, celebrating the turn of the year with their loved ones in loving embraces.

Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York" blared over speakers, inundating midtown Manhattan with a fervor unmatched by any other time of year.

The iconic New Year's Eve celebration in New York's most renowned square attracted celebrities and dignitaries from across the city and around the world, including New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, the boy band Backstreet Boys, and pop artist Ke$ha.

The New York City Police Department shut down Times Square to vehicle traffic beginning at 3 p.m., allowing celebrants on foot to begin packing the square.

The revelers, who were not allowed to drink, were directed by police officers to different viewing sections in Times Square for several hours before midnight.

New Yorkers are sure to linger in Times Square and the surrounding streets for a few hours, after which the Department of Sanitation will clean up the streets overnight for traffic to run smoothly on the first day of 2011.

"Only 364 days until New Year's Eve!" an unverified Twitter account claiming to be the Times Square Ball (@timessquareball) tweeted playfully.