The glittering crystal ball from Waterford Crystal dropped with a burst of confetti and dazzling fireworks as revellers rang in 2018 in frigid Times Square — the second-coldest celebration there on record.
The temperature was only -12°C in the city, and the celebration was less crowded than other years. Bundled up in hats, gloves, face masks and numerous layers of clothing, partygoers danced and hugged and kissed as the ball dropped.
The dazzling finale of the show was the traditional drop of a Waterford Crystal ball down a pole atop 1 Times Square.
This year, the ball was 3.5m in diameter, weighing 5,385 kilos and was covered with 2,688 triangles that change colours like a kaleidoscope, illuminated by 32,256 LED lights. When the first ball drop happened in 1907, it was made of iron and wood and adorned with 100 25-watt light bulbs. The first celebration in the area was in 1904, the year the city’s first subway line started running.
After two terrorist attacks and a rampaging SUV driver who plowed into a crowd on the very spot where the party takes place, police were taking no chances. Security was tighter than ever before. Garages in the area were sealed off. Detectives were stationed at area hotels working with security officials to prevent sniper attacks.
Thousands of uniformed officers lined the streets. Concrete blocks and sanitation trucks blocked vehicles from entering the secure area where spectators gathered. Partygoers passed through one of a dozen checkpoints where they were screened and then screened again as they made their way to the main event.