Five...Four...Three...Two...One... It's almost New Year's 2012 and time to watch that glitzy ball drop to signal the beginning of the new year.
The New Year's Eve Ball successfully dropped during a dress rehearsal, as The Associated Press called it, at noon on Friday while organizers continued to prepare for the most magical night of the year, inflating balloons and throwing confetti.
This year's six-ton ball with the theme Let There Be Friendship has 238 new Waterford crystals to the 3,000 crystal triangles from past years. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Lady Gaga will do the honors of dropping the back at the Crossroads of the World.
New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said security will be heightened, with checkpoints situated at each of the 16 entrances to Times Square in addition to cameras, helicopters, mounted horses, bomb-sniffing dogs and men on foot.
We operate under the assumption that we're at the top of the terrorist target list, and we've had 14 attempts at terrorist-type attacks, the commissioner said.
The ball will be raised at One Times Square at 6 p.m. EST and dropped at 11:59 p.m. EST. Here is all the information you need to see the Times Square Ball Drop online or to watch live in person on New Year's Eve. As an added bonus, we've added some tips for those of you brave enough to be part of the most magical night of the year in New York City.
There will be a live webcast of the Times Square Ball Drop which you can watch here, at TimesSquareNYC.org.
If you still have a television set, you know, the primitive form of watching moving images before the Apple iPad, then you can catch Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2012. The 40th anniversary Countdown To 2012 special begins at 11 p.m. Saturday on ABC Network. Pitbull and Hot Chelle Rae will be performing live along with Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber. Festivities will begin at 8 p.m. ET with a special two-hour event hosted by Jenny McCarthy and Fergie for the 40th anniversary special.
An estimated one million people flock to New York City every year to watch the New Year's Eve Ball drop from One Times Square, located in the heart of New York at Broadway and 43rd Street. However, it can be seen from 43rd Street to 59th Street on Broadway and 7th Avenue.
The New York Police Department will begin closing down access to Times Square starting at 43rd Street and Broadway. Viewers can enter from Sixth or Eighth Avenue and are encouraged to arrive early.
Access Points for entrances into Times Square and nearby areas:
To Access Times Square South of 41st Street
- 37th & 7th Ave
- 37th & Broadway
- 38th & 8th Ave
- 38th & 6th Ave
To Access Times Square North of 43rd street
- 46th from 8th & 6th Ave (press access)
- Emergency Vehicle Route (48th, 5th-9th Ave)
- 49th from 8th & 6th Ave
- 52nd from 8th & 6th Ave
- 54th from 6th Ave
- 55th from 8th Ave
- 57th from 7th Ave
- 57th from Broadway
- 58th from 8th & 6th Ave
- 59th from 8th & 6th Ave
- 39th - Broadway to 6th Ave
- 41st - 7th Ave directed westbound to 8th Ave
- 49th - 7th Ave directed eastbound to 6th Ave
- 50th - Broadway directed westbound to 8th Ave
- 53rd - Broadway directed westbound to 8th Ave
- 55th - 7th Ave directed eastbound to 7th Ave
Events at Times Square
Here is a list of events to take place at Times Square during the New Year's Eve celebration.
Want to attend one of New York City's hottest parties while ringing in the new year? Here's a guide to NYC's 10 Best Party Spots to Ring in the New Year.
According to the Times Square District Management Association, here are some tips you should follow if you choose to watch the Times Square Ball drop in person.
1. There will be no public restrooms.
2. Public drinking will not be tolerated by NYPD.
3. Food and Beverage vendors are not allowed to post in Times Square on New Year's Eve.
4. No large bags or backpacks allowed.
5. Those who leave the area once the part begins will not be allowed back in.