New crystals from Irish company Waterford have joined over 2,000 sparkling triangles covering the ball that drops over New York's Times Square every year, days before the countdown to 2022.
"We're here today replacing 192 of the Waterford crystal triangles on that ball behind me with a new design, 'the Gift of Wisdom,'" said Jeffrey Strauss, president of Countdown Entertainment, on Monday. "It's represented by a wheel with these petals of knowledge growing ever forward."
Each year the geodesic sphere, which measures 12 feet in diameter and weighs 11,875 pounds, gets 192 new crystal facets that represent themes for the new year such as Happiness, Goodwill, Harmony, Serenity, Kindness and Wonder. The ball is studded with 2,688 intricate crystal panels that range in length from 4-3/4 inches to 5-3/4 inches.
For the second year in a row, New Year's Eve in Times Square will be scaled-back event, with organizers encouraging spectators to attend the virtual show. In-person attendance, usually about 60,000 before the pandemic, will be capped at 15,000 due to the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
A close-up shot of a crystal triangle about to be placed on the New Year's Eve ball.
Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
But the worldwide audience is expected to remain massive.
"We're going to have more than a billion revelers around the world joining us on TV and on the internet celebrating," said Strauss. "It's the one moment where we all come together, even if it's just for 60 seconds as we count down towards 2022."
Stars scheduled to perform at this year's celebration include KT Tunstall, LL Cool J, Journey and Chloe.