- Associated Press - Monday, December 17, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) - The Waterford crystal ball that will drop in Times Square to usher in 2013 will have 288 new crystal panels with doves chiseled into them to mark the theme “Let There Be Peace.”

The triangular panels replace 288 old ones on the 2,668-panel ball.

The Irish crystal company says organizers are doing something special this year: People are invited to send in their personal messages of peace via social media.

Some messages will be read during a live webcast. The rest will be posted on the Internet.

More than 1 billion people are expected to see the New Year’s Eve festivities in telecasts and newscasts.

Ryan Seacrest will host the countdown to midnight, with musical guests including Taylor Swift, Carly Rae Jepsen, Neon Trees, Flo Rida and Pitbull.

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