The 1,000-pound ball above Penn Avenue Place can create 64 billion color combinations.By Briana Smith

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – It’s a sign the new year is here: crews are preparing the Future of Pittsburgh Ball to make sure it’s ready to rise and ring in 2022.

“The ball will go up and down,” said Sarah Aziz, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Festival management director. “And the lights will turn on and go through all the cycles it does to make sure everything goes well at midnight.”

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Aziz says this is the 15th year the Future of Pittsburgh Ball will not fall but rise on Penn Avenue Place.

“Pittsburgh is a city on the rise,” said Aziz. “We continue to move forward. It’s 1,000 pounds. There are a lot of lights.”

There are 1,100 LED lights, to be exact, that can mix red, green and blue lights into 64 billion color combinations. Technique Architectural Products manufactured the ball and placed it on the roof about a month ago.

“The ball is stored in a warehouse, and it’s brought onto the roof with the crane every year,” said Ryan Bachman, the Technique Architectural Products project leader. “It’s lifted up in the place and we come and install it in two halves.”

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Bachman also says it’s eco-friendly.

“The ball is made out of post-consumer products. So, all of the aluminum is recycled,” said Bachman.

Organizers say it will take two minutes for the ball to reach the top, hoping people take that time to reflect.

“I hope people find some joy and resilience, going into 2022 knowing how brave we’ve been,” said Aziz. “We’ve all been through a lot and here we are.”

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Aziz reminds Pittsburghers just like the ball, they too, should always rise.