You don't have to be in Times Square to enjoy large bright displays of lights. You can create that in the comfort of your own home with some foam board, LEDs, and our little friend Arduino.
My sister-in-law decided to get married on New Year Eve, and the venue she chose stays open until 1am that night, so I started thinking it would be great to have a nice big countdown clock. I ran the idea past her and her fiance and they both loved it, so I went to work.
When I made it I intended it for just one use, but it's a very impressive display that can be seen across a huge room. This is pretty simplified and what I'm showing you is on a breadboard. Optimizing and taking it beyond prototyping (e.g. replacing the breadboard with some pcb boards) are outside of the scope for this but shouldn't be too difficult.