It looks as if this year will mark the end of a New Year's Eve tradition -- the dropping of the ball at Times Square (for the third straight year the ball will be an apple). Plans to redevelop Times Square include tearing down One Times Square in 1985. The building at the intersection of 42nd Street and Broadway is the site of the nationally televised New Year's Eve ceremony.

It may be time to move the New Year's Eve revelry somewhere else. Why not Washington? New Year's Eve is becoming quite an event here. Mayor Marion Barry's ball at the Old Post Office Pavilion has already sold out about 3,000 seats, and 50,000 celebrants are expected to ring in 1985 outside on Pennsylvania Avenue. Metrorail will run until 2 a.m. . . .

One big charity event, "Le Carnival Magique," will be thrown by the Young Friends of the Red Cross at the Organization of American States. The OAS will be transformed into a Rio de Janeiro setting complete with dry ice and spectacular lighting effects. At midnight, a surprise entertainer is to emerge from a giant basket of fruit . . .

Some of the other events around town will include the Washington Charitable Fund's "A Night in Paris" ball at the Four Seasons Hotel. Sequined and feathered masks are required, and singer Karen Akers is expected at the benefit for the Washington Performing Arts Society . . . "The Fledermaus Ball," complete with excerpts from "Die Fledermaus" performed by the Washington Civic Opera Chorus and Strauss Strings, will be a New Year's Eve benefit at the Capital Hilton for the Beethoven Society and the Arts Club . . . And the Hay-Adams will be into elegance, with society bandleader Peter Duchin launching a new tradition there. . .