You’re Invited: New Year’s Eve Ball Drop in Grand Rapids Powered by Consumers Energy

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New Year’s Eve is a time to celebrate another chance at reaching goals and ringing in 2015 with the ones we love. Cities around the world commemorate with fireworks and bright lights, but dropping a ball on New Year’s Eve is exclusively an American tradition to count down to the next year.

The creation of “time balls” originated in 1829 so sailors could tell time at sea. Using a telescope, sailors would find a harbor and watch for a “time ball” to drop at a certain time of day—usually noon or 1 p.m. This invention was the inspiration for the American tradition to celebrate the new year.

Ring in New Year’s Eve With Consumers Energy

We’re powering the ball drop in Calder Plaza in downtown Grand Rapids on New Year’s Eve from 6-11 p.m. We plan to turn back the clock to the 1970s with HOT FM 105.3 and a lineup of musical acts at this free event.

Visit our warming tent for free hot chocolate and photo booth fun. In celebration of recycling 100,000 refrigerators and freezers, you also can win prizes for taking pictures with our retro fridge.

In 2013, Consumers Energy replaced 450 halogen light bulbs with 450 more efficient LED bulbs to dazzle attendees in an environmentally friendly way. The Grand Rapids New Year’s Eve ball:

  • Is 450 pounds, about as heavy as an upright piano
  • Will stay lit for about 6 hours
  • Uses a little over 24 kilowatt-hours of electricity compared to 117 kilowatt-hours in past years
  • Could power 115 active video game consoles or light about 18 Michigan homes for a day with the amount of energy saved with LEDs
  • Will descend 100 feet at 11:59 p.m.

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