America’s dozen daffiest New Year’s Eve drops
Monday, December 17, 2018
It was way back in 1907 that the now-famous New Year’s Eve ball made its maiden descent from the flagpole atop One Times Square in New York City.
Since then the seemingly wacky process of dropping objects to celebrate the beginning of a new year has spread across the country. Here’s a selection of the dozen daffiest drops:
Possum Drop, Tallapoosa, Georgia
Searching for a clue as to how this one got started, we found that Tallapoosa (pop. 3,170) was originally named Possum Snout.
So anyway, the town rings in New Year’s by dropping a stuffed possum named Spencer as the culmination of a day-long festival, including live bands, a parade, and the naming of a Possum King and Queen.
The wrench drop originally started as an Eagle Scout project and is lowered by a crane annually. Image: Mechanicsburg’s New Year’s Eve Wrench Drop
Wrench Drop, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
Granted, the connection is obvious, but this drop still made CNN’s list of Quirky New Year’s Eve Celebrations. The celebration, now in its 15th year, centers around the dropping of a 10-foot galvanized steel wrench wrapped with lights.
It commemorates mechanics that settled in the area to repair wagons that were heading west after crossing the Susquehanna River.
Pickle Drop, Dillsburg, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvanians clearly have a penchant for weird drops (and town names) as evidenced by a bologna drop in Lebanon — and the even zanier dropping of a six-foot-long papier-mâché creation called Mr. Pickle in Dillsburg.
The big cuke falls at midnight amid a blazing fireworks display. Observers can sample some of Dillsburg’s delicacies, including deep-fried pickles, chocolate-covered pickles and pickle soup.
Pickle Drop, Mt. Olive, North Carolina
It so happens Dillsburg isn’t the only place to experience the thrill of a pickle plunge, although one might wonder why Mt. Olive doesn’t have an olive drop instead.
Well, it’s because of a promotionally minded outfit there by the name of Mt. Olive Pickle Company (located at the corner of Cucumber & Vine) that sponsors the annual dropping of a lighted three-foot pickle from atop the company’s 45-foot flagpole. It plops into a redwood pickle tank at precisely 7:00 p.m. EDT — or midnight Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) — so that nobody has to stay up late for the big event.
Olive Drop, Bartlesville, Oklahoma
Low and behold, there actually is an olive drop! It’s a classy event that takes place in the Oklahoma oil town of Bartlesville (home of Phillips Petroleum).
Oprah describes it as an “awesome event” when an enormous brightly lit olive descends from the top of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Price Tower and falls neatly into a seven-foot-tall martini glass.
Image: Tad Denson, MyShotz.com
Moon Pie Drop, Mobile, Alabama
A confection most popular in the southern U.S., a moon pie is made up of a pair of graham cookies filled with marshmallow and coated with chocolate. It’s a snack that’s apparently so revered in Mobile that it elicits a New Year’s Eve celebration.
Moon Pie Over Mobile festivities include noshing on the world’s largest edible Moon Pie and the dropping of a 12-foot-high, 600-pound electric Moon Pie at the stroke of midnight.
Droppin’ of the Carp, Prairie du Chein, Wisconsin
Yep. It’s a genuine carp, averaging about 25 pounds, caught each year in the nearby Mississippi River, named Lucky, and then frozen until New Year’s Eve.
Adorned with lights, Lucky is lowered via crane onto a throne during a countdown to the New Year. Soon thereafter, celebrants line up to give Lucky a midnight kiss. This is for real.
Crab Pot Drop, Hampton, Virginia
Most of the New Year’s Eve drops around the country symbolize something significant about their community. Hampton’s celebration is no exception.
The city is situated on the Chesapeake Bay and is home to one of the region’s first canned crab packing plants. So, it’s only natural for Hampton to drop a crab pot.
The oversized pot is tossed from atop the Old Point National Bank building as part of a festive culmination to a block party featuring street dancing, food and drink.
Guitar Drop, Memphis, Tennessee
The famous Celebration on Beale is one of the biggest New Year’s Eve parties in America, bringing more than 50,000 celebrants together on the city’s most iconic street for an evening of revelry. It all culminates at midnight with the dropping of giant 10-foot Gibson guitar (made in Memphis) from atop the Hard Rock Café.
Image: Memphis Tourism
Giant Pinecone Drop, Flagstaff, Arizona
You’ve gotta drop what you’ve got — and with Flagstaff being surrounded by one the world’s largest ponderosa pine forests, there most certainly are lots of pinecones on hand.
When the drop originated in 1999, they used a garbage can with pinecones glued to it — but progress has led to the creation of a 70-pound, six-foot lighted aluminum cone that descends from atop the historic Weatherford Hotel, accompanied by a dazzling fireworks display.
Giant Acorn Drop, Raleigh, North Carolina
Arizona has its pines but North Carolina is blanketed with oaks, and the capital city of Raleigh is known as “The City of Oaks,” so what better to drop than an acorn?
Squirrels must scatter at the sight of this one — a 10-foot-tall copper creation weighing in at 1,250 pounds. The huge nut is dropped from the Civic Center as part of the city’s First Night Raleigh celebration.
This year marks the 28th annual staging of the event, which features more than 100 activities, including musical and theatrical performances.
Drag Queen in a Red High Heel Drop, Key West, Florida
Forget the ball. We’re talking Key West — home of the odd and outlandish — and probably the only place in the country where a drop as bizarre as this one would be conceived.
This Keys interpretation of the ball drop is, well, exactly what it sounds like, featuring a red 6-foot-tall stiletto, carrying a drag queen who goes by the name of Sushi, descending from the roof of the Bourbon Street Pub. Needless to say, it’s a crowd-pleaser.
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