NEW YORK (AP) — It's almost 2012 — with nearly 3,000 crystal triangles sparkling on the New Year's ball ready to drop in Times Square.
At a news conference on Tuesday, workers also displayed the numeral "2" that will light up for 2012.
Two hundred eighty-eight new Waterford crystal panels were added to those from past years. The new patterns represent friends holding hands for this year's theme, "Let There Be Friendship."
The ball will dangle before the world on Saturday at midnight — a televised countdown spectacle with Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga performing.
Tim Tompkins of the Times Square Alliance announced a donation of crystals from the 2001 ball to the 9/11 memorial museum in lower Manhattan.
More than 1 million people are expected in Times Square to mark the new year.