Organizers test the famed Times Square crystal ball ahead of the New Year's Eve celebration. Roselle Chen reports.
The countdown to New Year's begins, as organizers of the Times Square New Year's Eve celebration made final preparations for the big event by testing the iconic crystal ball that rings in the new year. Times Square Alliance President Tim Tompkins did a mock countdown and flipped a giant switch that turned on the lights of the flashy ball that's made out of 32,256 Philips LED lights and 2,688 Waterford crystals. Tompkins said 10 percent of the crystals were replaced this year to highlight a new theme. SOUNDBITE: Tim Tompkins, Times Square Alliance president, saying (English): "They have the theme of 'the gift of fortitude.' And that's because our special guest this year is the International Rescue Committee which honors and helps refugees and displaced people from around the world. And they are folks who show a lot of fortitude and a lot of strength in the face of adversity. Because New Year's Eve is about new beginnings and new starts, the International Rescue Committee helps refugees have new beginnings." In anticipation of the midnight ceremony, more than one million people will gather in Times Square to watch the crystal ball descend from its 130-foot (40 meters) perch to ring in the New Year.