Every year over a million people flock to Times Square on New Year’s Eve, and 70 million more tune in at home, to watch a 5.5 ton crystal ball drop 77 feet to bring in the New Year. Drop. The whole downward motion unfortunately comes with a lot of negative connotations. Like, you’ve just hit rock bottom. There is nothing left to look forward to. Next year is going to be even worse than this year. That’s not what the good people of New York are going for, but once you’ve been introduced to Pittsburgh’s New Year’s ball, the implications are there.
The Pittsburgh New Year’s Eve ball was added to the First Night Celebration in 2006. The ball weighs only 1 ton, is made of recycled material, and is situated on top of the Highmark building to be visible both by those Downtown and in Mount Washington. Perhaps the best part of this ball, however, is that at midnight, it goes up. This presents a different picture, one of hope, a better year, looking forward into the future. City leaders even said “dropping” the future was not the self-image Pittsburgh wanted to present to the country. Ultimately, I prefer the uplifting images of the Pittsburgh New Year’s celebration. It gave me a sense of optimism that is still sticking with me on January 2nd, and will hopefully last the entire year.