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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 12/29/16

Thursday, December 29, 2016

TIME BALLS, FROGS, ACORNS AND PICKLES, WELCOME IN THE NEW YEAR!







   On December 31, 2011, people all over the world will welcome in the New Year watching the 2011 Time Ball drop in Times Square in New York City or by dropping objects like pickles and acorns to pursue prosperity in 2012. Many celebrations focus on time balls to calculate and welcome the New Year. Other towns and cities across the country drop a variety of items, according to local tradition or just plain tradition. Talbot, Maryland will feature a Crab Drop at its first night celebration, Mobile, Alabama will drop a twelve foot moon pie at its New Year's Eve celebration, and Atlanta, Georgia, will drop an 800 pound peach at its celebration to ring in 2012.





Image result for 2011 TIMES SQUARE BALL
 
 


The 2011 Times Square Time Ball

The Times Square ball that will drop on December 31, 2011, measures 12 feet in diameter, weighs 11, 875 pounds and is covered with 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles of varied sizes. The crystals produce millions of vibrant colors and countless patterns, and the New Years Eve celebration at Times Square produces millions of excited spectators to count down and welcome the New Year.



New Years Eve Celebrated in Times Square is a Century Old Tradition

   People celebrated New Year's Eve in Times Square as early as 1904, but it took until 1907 for the tradition of the New Year's Eve Ball to begin. In 1907, the first New Year's Eve Ball which measured five feet in diameter and weighed 700 pounds descended from the flagpole on top of One Times Square. Jacob Starr, a young immigrant metalworker, built the ball from iron and wood and lit it with one hundred 25 -watt bulbs. For most of the Twentieth Century, the company that Jacob founded, Artkraft Strauss, lowered the ball every year.
   The New Year's Ball has descended every year since 1907 except for 1942 and 1943, when officials cancelled the ceremony because of the wartime dimming of New York City lights. Despite the absence of a ball, crowds still congregated in Times Square and welcomed the New Year with a minute of silence. After that chimes rang from sound trucks parked at the base of the tower, a continuation of earlier Trinity Church celebrations where crowds gathered to "ring out the old, ring in the new."






 


Ball Dropping Symbolizes Time Passing

   The idea of a ball "dropping" to symbolize time passing goes back into the mists of time far distant from Times Square to Greenwich, England. The English installed the first time ball on top of the Royal Observatory at Greenwich in 1833. The time ball would drop every afternoon at one o'clock so that the captains of nearby ships could accurately set their chronometers which were essential to navigation.
   After the time balls had proven themselves at Greenwich, about 150 of them were installed around the world. The United States Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. carries on the tradition. Every day at noon a time ball descends from the flagpole. In Times Square every year a time ball descends on the stroke for midnight to symbolize the coming of the New Year for over one billion excited people around the world.






 


People Drop Everything from Pickles to Acorns to Welcome the New Year

   Millions of people watch the time ball drop in New York's Time Square and millions more watch more unusual items drop to welcome in the New Year before their eyelids close over the New Year.
   Mount Olive, North Carolina, is celebrating its thirteenth annual New Year's Eve Pickle Drop on December 31, 2011, at the corner of Cucumber and Vine Streets. The New Year's Eve pickle descends the Mount Olive Pickle Company flagpole at 7 p.m. midnight - that's 7 o'clock EST-which also happens to be midnight Greenwich Mean Time. Festival organizers say "that way we are official, we shout Happy New Year! and we don't have to stay up until midnight!"
   Since 1992, Raleigh, the capital city of North Carolina, has earned its title, "The City of Oaks," by literally dropping an acorn as a symbol of new beginnings every New Year's Eve. The 2011 Acorn Drop marks the 20th Anniversary of Raleigh's First Night New Year's Eve Celebrations and the Acorn Drop. The acorn weighs approximately 1,250 pounds and measures about ten feet, and instead of investing in a gigantic acorn storage unit 364 days of the year, the town of Raleigh proudly displays the acorn in Moore Square. Then on New Year's Eve, technicians transport the acorn by crane to participate in the midnight count down.










   Eastport, Maine, is ringing in the New Year with its seventh consecutive year of New Year's Eve festivities with the Great Sardine and Maple Leaf Drop. To honor both the United States and Canada, the first drop will be a Canadian maple leaf to honor Eastport's Canadian neighbors and then a giant sardine will be dropped at midnight to commemorate the regions historic sardine fishing and canning past.




Crowd waiting for ball to drop




Pittsburgh Raises the Ball

   Pennsylvania has numerous towns and cities that drop a variety of objects to welcome in the New Year. Hummelstown drops a lollipop. Duncannon drops a sled, Richland drops a cigar, Steelton drops an entire steamroller and Frogtown, a frog.
   In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a 1,000 pound ball titled "The Future of Pittsburgh," will ascend 74 feet at midnight on December 31, 2011, to the top of Penn Avenue Place as people count down the passing of the old year and the beginning of the New Year. Organizers of Pittsburgh's First Night. Family celebration decided to raise the ball instead of dropping it as a symbol of Pittsburgh's revitalization and the hope of a Happy New Year and prosperous future.
   But no matter where a town drops an item or if it is a peach or a pickle, the sentiment is the same, "Have a Happy and Prosperous New Year!"

THE ROSE PARADE HISTORY!!!



Float from the early years


Float from recent years
 
 
 

   This uniquely American event began as a promotional effort by Pasadena's distinguished Vally Hunt Club.  In the winter of 1890, the club members brainstormed ways to promote the "Mediterranean of the West".  They invited their former East Coast neighbors to a mid-winter holiday, where they could watch games such as chariot races, jousting, foot races, polo and tug-of-war under the warm California sun.  The abundance of fresh flowers, even in the midst of winter, prompted the club to add another showcase for Pasadena's charm; a parade would precede the competition, where entrants would decorate their carriages with hundreds of blooms.  The Tournament of Roses was born.
   "In New York, people are buried in snow", announced Professor Charles F. Holder at a Club meeting.  "Here our flowers are blooming and our oranges are about to bear fruit.  Let's hold a festival to tell the world about our paradise"!



Queen and her court today
Queen and her court from years gone by




 

    During the next few years, the festival expanded to include marching bands and motorized floats.  The games on the town lot (which was re-named Tournament Park in 1900) included ostrich races, bronco busting demonstrations and a race between a camel and an elephant (the elephant won).  Reviewing stands were built along the Parade route, and Eastern newspapers began to take notice of the event in 1895, the Tournament of Roses Association was formed to take charge of the festival, which had grown too large for the Valley Hunt Club to handle.






Band picture from recent years
Band picture from years past





  The Tournament of Roses has come a long way since its early days.  The Rose Parade's elaborate floats now feature high-tech computerized animation and exotic natural materials from around the world.  Although a few floats are still built exclusively by volunteers from their sponsoring communities, most are build by professional float building companies and take nearly a year to construct.  The year-long effort pays off on New Year's morning, when millions of viewers around the world enjoy the Rose Parade.


Grand Marshall, Bill Cosby







Grand Marshall of Parade, Richard Nixon


THE HISTORY OF THE WATERFORD CRYSTAL NEW YEAR'S EVE BALL!!!





    The most famous ball in America will make it's decent into Times Square this December, ringing in more than just another "Happy New Year"! among fellow Americans.  While it may be the largest New Year's Eve Ball ever to grace New York City.  It may also be the most eco-friendly ball as well.  The new ball is 20% more energy efficient than the previous one, which will make it a sure crowd pleaser for the many Americans who are becoming more eco-conscious.  At 12 feet across and 11,875 pounds, the ball will be the largest ball to drop in Times Square since the beginning of the tradition.  It also contains 2,668 Waterford Crystals and 32,256 LED's, which make the ball capable of producing more than 16 million colors and several billion patterns.  It will be the most beautiful and breathtaking New Year's Eve Ball to date.  But where did the idea for the ball come from?  Who started this tradition, and when was the Waterford Crystal introduced into this famous past time?





the ball from 1978




The History of the New Year's Eve Ball and the Waterford Crystal

   In 1907, Jacob Starr created a giant ball combining wood, iron, and one hundred 25 watt light bulbs.  The New Year's Eve Ball would become known as one of the most famous tributes tot he New Year in American history.  Weighing in at 700 pounds and stretching 5 feet across, the new tradition was born.  The first ball was used every year until 1920, when it was replaced with a 400 pound wrought iron ball.  From the twenties to the mid fifties the ball remained unchanged.
   Unfortunately, during World War II, the New Year's Eve Ball did not make its usual descent to earth.  In 1942 and 1943, the ball remained unlit in fear of war time enemies attacking.  However, in 1944, the famous New Yorker returned to it's beloved place high atop Times Square.





2000-2007 ball




   In 1955, the ball was replaced yet again for a third time to a smaller, 200 pound aluminum ball.  While the ball was lighter in weight, it was no less famous and no less elegant, and this ball reigned until the 1980's.
   1981 brought a new decade for the ball, while the original ball itself was not actually replaced, the light bulbs, were replaced with red ones.  The pole from which the famous ball dropped was painted green-all of this was done to simulate a "Big Apple".  This was being done to promote the "I Love New York" campaign-more famously known today as the "I heart NY T-shirts, coffee mugs and so forth that we see today.  The ball was returned to its famous bright white bulbs in 1989, at the end of the campaign.










    Aside from a few colored light bulbs and a new paint job, the New Year's Eve Ball remained the same for 40 years.  In 1995, the ball was all but brought into the new century.  It was updated to an aluminum skin with strobe lights, rhinestone gems and more-all generated by computers.  This was also the beginning of the true Waterford Crystal that we know and love today.
   For the millennium, the ball was completely designed.  Aside from the ball that will grace New York's Time Square this December, the ball form weighed in at over 1,000 pounds-making it the largest in both weight and width (at 6 feet across).  It contained a mixture of 168 halogen bulbs and 432 light bulbs of red, green, blue, yellow and white-which were all used in different "Hope" campaign themes.
   This famous New Yorker has been around for over 100 years and will be making its drop from 475 feet above Times Square.