Ready, set, go: Times Square’s New Year’s Eve ball ready for the final countdown to 2023


The countdown to 2023 is on, and to make sure the New Year’s Eve ball drop goes off without a hitch during Saturday night’s countdown, a test run of the lighted-up Waterford Crystal ball was held atop One Times Square on Friday.

Electrician Paul Alvarado shared that he and his technicians will be at One Times Square bright and early on Saturday and power-up the ball to ensure it works for the ball drop at midnight. 

“We are going to make sure this ball goes up and down in the right fashion,” Alvarado said. “Any problems that do occur, such as LEDs going out or anything, we swap them out. We just made sure that ball is 100%.”

None other than acclaimed chef Emeril Lagasse alongside Carnival Cruise President Christine Duffy, flipped the switch for the rehearsal and successfully sent the nearly 12,000-pound orb up and back down the 130-foot pole. 

Celebrity chef Lagasse, who just became Carnival Cruise’s chief culinary officer, said he was “exploding with goosebumps of excitement” and looking forward to New Year’s Eve.

Lagasse and Duffy will flip the switch at 6 p.m. on New Year’s Eve to light up the gigantic Waterford Crystal ball, sending it up the pole, where it will stay until shortly before making its 10-second descent to 2023. Duffy said it was her second year flipping the switch, and Lagasse chimed in that 100,000 guests on 24 Carnival Cruise liners had the chance to watch the event live at sea. 

Christine Duffy, President of Carnival Cruise Line, Chef Emeril Lagasse, and Jeff Strauss attend the New Year’s eve ball drop test on Dec. 30, 2022. Photo by Gabriele Holtermann

Both were looking forward to 2023. Duffy shared that Carnival is bringing a new ship named Venizia to New York City’s harbor and Lagasse was sure that everyone was ready to close the book on 2022 and “open with excitement for 2023.”

His message to New Yorkers for the new year was, “Have fun. Enjoy family and friends. And eat good food.”

Jeffrey Strauss, president of Countdown Entertainment,  was brimming with excitement and ready for the New Year’s celebration. 

“New York City is back,” he said. “We’re expecting hundreds of 1000s of people here in Time Square. If it’s a little wet, it may be a little less. Maybe we will hit a million. But we’re here in the heart of New York City. And I mean, just today I’m walking the square. It’s packed. People want to celebrate!”