Dropping the ball

Since1907 the celebration of New Year's Eve in Times Square has included a ball drop, and drawn huge crowds. "Times Square 1998," sponsored by the Times Square Business Improvement District, featured a spruced-up ball and lighting effects, and drew about 500,000 people to Manhattan (right). Says Peter Kohlmann, Times Square BID's director of marketing and special events, "Before the BID was created five years ago, the ball dropped from the flagpole, and that was it."

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