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New Year  

Welcome 2008!
By Sarah Lane
Jan 20, 2008, 15:34 PST

A New Year in America

The event of a new year occurs in different countries at different times and each culture has its own collaboration of coinciding celebrations. In America, however, we celebrate the new year on January 1st as a result of the adaptation of the Gregorian calendar in 1752. Our melting pot society incorporates numerous traditions but some remain steadfast such as the Times Square gala on New Year’s Eve, the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena, California on New Year’s Day, and sporting events such as the Rose Bowl. This is the crux of celebrating a proper ‘New Year’ in America.

New Year’s Eve - Times Square - New York City, New York

This year marks the 100th Annual New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square, New York City. People gather for miles to await the arrival of precisely one minute before midnight. At this time, a huge crystal ball is lighted atop a flagpole at One Times Square. The ball is then lowered 77 feet in one minute as thousands of onlookers count down the last 60 seconds before the new year. Since 1907 the Ball Lowering has become an American tradition for welcoming in the new year.

The Ball itself is a gigantic sphere measuring six feet in diameter and weighing in at about 1,070 pounds. It is covered with 504 Waterford Crystal triangles. Each year 72 of the triangles are replaced with a new design representing the outlook for the new year. This years’ theme is “Hope for Wisdom”. All of the triangles are bolted to 168 translucent triangular lexan panels that are attached to the aluminium frame of the ball. The Ball and all of its computer controlled 696 lights and 90 rotating pyramid mirrors is owned by One Times Square. It's a far cry from the first ball dropped in 1907 which was made from wood and iron, weighed 700 pounds, and was adorned with 100-25 watt bulbs!

This New Year’s Eve event is run by Times Square Business Improvement District (BID), and is organized in coordination with the Mayor’s office, the New York Police and Fire Departments, the Department of Sanitation, Transportation and Parks, and the business and property owners of Times Square.

For more information about this event check out the BID site.

New Year’s Day - Tournament of Roses Parade - Pasadena, California

The very first ‘Tournament of Roses’ took place in 1890 and was organized by members of the Pasadena Valley Hunt Club. Their purpose as former residents of the East Coast and Midwest, was to highlight their new home’s mild winter weather and comparatively tropical paradise.

Over 2,000 people attended the first parade of flower-covered carriages. Instead of Bowl games there were foot races, polo matches, and tugs-of-war to accompany the parade. As a result of the popular use of flowers as decorations, a professor suggested “Tournament of Roses” as the name of the festival. Soon thereafter, marching bands, motorized floats, and stands along the parade route were incorporated into the celebration. In 1895 the Tournament of Roses Association took over the increasingly popular event.

Floats now take an entire year leading up to the event to construct. Every square inch of each float must be covered with natural materials including flowers, leaves, seeds, or bark. This year’s 116th Rose Parade themed Celebrate Family will begin on Saturday, January 1, 2005 at 8:00 A.M. P.S.T.

For more information about this event go to the Tournament of Roses website.

New Year’s Day - The Rose Bowl - Pasadena, California

In 1902, the Tournament of Roses Association decided to expand its celebration by adding a football game. There was one problem; Stanford University who accepted the invitation to take on the University of Michigan, creamed the west coast team who gave up in the third quarter. Roman-style chariot races replaced the football game but not for long. By 1916 football returned to Pasadena as well as a 57,000 seat stadium with a price tag of $272,198.26. A newspaper reporter who served as the Tournaments press agent came up with the name “Rose Bowl” for the stadium.

On January 1, 1923 the Tournament held its first football game. With a nickname of “The Grandaddy of Them All” its no wonder the Rose Bowl has been a sell-out game every year since 1947. Many ‘firsts’ took place here including the first wire photo transmission of a Bowl game in 1925, the first transcontinental radio broadcast of a sporting event in 1927, and the first coast-to-coast color telecast of a college football game in 1962.

An agreement between the Big Ten and Pac-10 conferences created the championship game between the leaders. Following the Tournament of Roses Parade on January 1, 2005, the 91st Rose Bowl will host the University of Michigan vs. The University of Texas at 2:00 P.M. P.S.T.

For more information about this event go to the Tournament of Roses website.

Times Square Business Improvement District, Pasadena Tournament of Roses

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