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New York — Just as it has happened for more than a century as the old year ticks toward history, a large crowd will gather Friday night in New York’s Times Square to mark the old and the new with the descent of an iconic ball.

The dazzling crystal ball will begin its 70-foot descent precisely at 11:59 p.m. ET to the chants of New Year’s Eve revelers counting down the final seconds of 2010, according to the event’s official website. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Medal of Honor recipient Staff Sgt. Salvatore A. Giunta will push a button to start the ball toward 2011.

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Weighing in at 11,875 pounds with a diameter of 12 feet, the sparkling sphere is covered with 2,668 triangular crystals and is powered by 32,256 LED lights. By mixing red, blue, green and white light elements, the ball’s lighting system is capable of producing a kaleidoscopic array of 16 million hues and colors, and billions of patterns, the event’s website says.

Read more at CNN.com

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