As I sit and ponder the past year and look forward to the New Year, I came across an article on how different cities around the country celebrate New Year's Eve. As a native New Yorker, I have experienced the ball drop in Times Square and think of those memories fondly. According to the article, many other cites also celebrate by dropping various objects, such as a conch shell with a drag queen in Key West and a Hershey Kiss in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
"Ball drops" weren't always reserved for New Year's Eve. The idea of lowering a sphere to measure time was first used in Greenwich, England, where a ball descended every afternoon at one o'clock so ship captains could calibrate their navigational tools. The concept eventually made its way to New York City, where it's now used to usher in the New Year in front of thousands of freezing-cold spectators.