Of all the New Year's festivities available, from Possum Drops to Fancy Dress parties, the ball drop in New York's Times Square reigns supreme. Each year, somewhere around a million people gather together in Times Square to celebrate the end of a year, while millions more tune in from the comfort of their homes.
After the performances by popular musical acts and the countless celebrity appearances, the clock strikes midnight and the famous ball makes its descent. The official start of the new year kicks off with fireworks and the tune of Auld Land Syne, and the sky fills with colorful dots of confetti. But while everyone is kissing, a closer look at this confetti reveals a fun secret... and you might just see your name.
Throughout the year, thousands of visitors filter through the Times Square Visitor Center, located between 46th and 47th Street on Seventh Avenue, where the famous ball is housed. Inside, guests can learn more about the history of Times Square (including its famously seedy past) or get a recommendation on the coolest places to shop, but before they leave, they're each given the opportunity to make a wish.
All of the wishes, from the personal to the universal, are written on brightly-colored strips of paper and displayed on a large section of the wall in the Visitor Center labeled "Hopes and Dreams". As the wishes pile up through the year, they're routinely pulled down and saved to make room for new dreams. And if you haven't guessed it by now, these wishes make up the confetti that's launched into the skies on New Year's Eve. The special "Hopes and Dreams" confetti is peppered into batches of blank confetti that is set off from various rooftops across Times Square... since such a massive amount of confetti is used during the celebration!
Thousands of dreams fluttering through the sky as couples kiss under fireworks? Not a bad start to the year. If you want to add your own New Year's wishes, just head to the Times Square Visitor Center any day, from 8am to 8pm.