Local Winona Company Makes Times Square Ball Drop Happen - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Local Winona Company Makes Times Square Ball Drop Happen

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Winona, MN (WXOW) -  The New Year's Eve ball drop in New York City is a tradition that dates back to 1908, and when the ball drops Wednesday night, it won't be without the help of a Winona company.

 2008 marked the centennial anniversary for the annual ball drop in Times Square, and in order to make it bigger and better than ever before, the city turned to Thern, a crane and winch company in Winona.
 It only takes 60 seconds, but the pressure is on every New Year's Eve for Thern.  When organizers decided to use a bigger ball for the drop in 2008, they turned to Thern to custom build a winch capable of dropping the 12,000 pound ball down the 141 foot tower over Times Square.

Chris Baudhuin, Executive Vice President of Thern, said "It's going to last a long time. It's going to be there until the people who are in charge of dropping the ball on New Year's Eve change the ball, come back and say 'hey we need another winch.'"

 The winch has been used in the New Year's Eve celebration for the last six years, and is the third winch created by Thern for the ball drop since 1948.

The company says as event organizers continue to increase the size of the ball, larger winches will be needed to accommodate the increased weight.

Thern is also involved with several other large scale projects: It created two large winches on the space shuttle launch pad at Kennedy Space Center and several winches were used in the construction of the Freedom Tower in Lower Manhattan.

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