TIMES SQUARE — The big ball is ready to ring in 2014.
Organizers practiced lowering the New Year's Eve ball from a 141-foot pole atop One Times Square in a final dress rehearsal Monday. The real event, which takes place in the seconds leading up to Jan. 1, brings millions of spectators out to fill the streets of Midtown and welcome in the New Year.
Monday's test drop went smoothly, as the 11,875-pound sphere of lit-up Waterford crystals went up and then descended from the pole.
On New Year's Eve, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor will push the button to start the countdown. The Bronx native follows in the footsteps of mayors, a president, a secretary of state, the Rockettes and Lady Gaga, who have all had the same honor since the tradition began in 1907.
This year's ball is equipped with the same color-changing LED light bulbs that are on top of the Empire State Building, organizers said.
As it drops, the ball will change colors.
“It resembles a kaleidoscope," said Jeff Straus, president of Countdown Entertainment. "It’s going to be more beautiful and colorful than ever.”
More than 1 billion people are expected to see the ball drop worldwide, Straus said.
New Year's Eve musical performances in Times Square include Blondie, Miley Cyrus and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Melissa Etheridge will be on hand as well, to sing John Lennon's "Imagine" and usher out 2013.