36 Bizarre Things Being Dropped on New Year’s Eve
Don’t live anywhere near New York City, but still desperate to see something—anything—drop during the countdown to 2016?
We can help. (Well, we can help some of you. Some of you might have to go on a road trip.) Check out these places that have put their own twists on the rather odd tradition of hoisting a giant object up in the air to celebrate the beginning of a new year.
1. A GIANT PEEP // BETHLEHEM, PENNSYLVANIA
Peeps’ parent company, Just Born, calls the eastern Pennsylvania town home, which is why Bethlehem drops a 4.5-foot tall, 85-pound, illuminated Peep to mark the new year. Though Peeps come in shapes to suit every holiday these days, the drop is done with a traditional chick that flashes different colors at midnight.
2. A WOODEN FLEA // EASTOVER, NORTH CAROLINA
Why the town would create a 3-foot-tall, 30-pound wooden flea is a real head scratcher—unless you know that the town was once known as Flea Hill.
3. A MOON PIE // MOBILE, ALABAMA
Why a Moon Pie? According to PR Newswire, the tasty snack cake is the “favored throw” at the Mardi Gras parade (never mind that whole bead thing), which originated in Mobile. Sadly, the 600-pound MoonPie is electronic, not edible.
4. A REAL (DEAD) CARP // PRAIRIE DU CHIEN, WISCONSIN
Most carp don’t see 15 seconds of fame, let alone 15 minutes. But every year in Prairie du Chien, Lucky the Carp is the center of attention when he’s lowered onto a throne to celebrate the new year. It’s the culmination of a week of activities, including hanging carp ornaments on a pine tree, the Carp Plunge (Prairie du Chien's version of a Polar Bear Plunge) and busting open a carp piñata. As far as we know, the piñata contains candy, not carp.
5. AN OLIVE // BARTLESVILLE, OKLAHOMA
It descends from the top of Price Tower, a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building, and falls neatly into a martini glass.
6. A BEACH BALL // PANAMA CITY BEACH, FLORIDA
Paying homage to the tourist industry that keeps the town hopping, Panama City Beach drops an 800-pound beach ball at midnight. Those who prefer beach balls of the non-deadly variety can attend the children’s drop at 8:30, where more than 10,000 inflatable balls are released from overhead nets.
7. A CHERRY BLOSSOM // MACON, GEORGIA
Perhaps, like us, you thought Washington, D.C., was the cherry blossom capital of the U.S. Like us, you’d be wrong. Macon, Georgia is actually home to far more cherry trees than D.C.—more than 300,000, compared to just a few thousand in D.C.
8. A SARDINE // EASTPORT, MAINE
The area has sardine fishing and canning roots, but Eastport also drops a Maple Leaf as a friendly gesture to their Canadian neighbors across the bay.
9. A WRENCH // MECHANICSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA
Get it? Mechanicsburg?
10. A DUCK DECOY // HAVRE DE GRACE, MARYLAND
11. A PEACH // ATLANTA, GEORGIA
Go figure. If you prefer your crowd of revelers to be large on New Year's Eve, Atlanta is the place to be: the Peach Drop is the largest NYE celebration in the southeast.
12. A PINECONE // FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA
In case you’re missing the connection, here’s a bit of trivia for you: Flagstaff sits in one of the largest Ponderosa Pine forests in the world. And the town has come a long way from the garbage can with pinecones glued on it that was used during the drop's inaugural year in 1999—see for yourself:
13. AN APPLE // MANHATTAN, KANSAS
Paying homage to their “Little Apple” nickname, nearly 10,000 residents and visitors gather every year to watch the city drop a brightly-lit Red Delicious.
14. A CHUNK OF CHEESE // PLYMOUTH, WISCONSIN
It's no doubt got some competition, but Plymouth proudly proclaims itself the Cheese Capital of the World, which is why it drops a large chunk of Sartori cheese to welcome the new year.
15. A DRAG QUEEN IN A RED HIGH HEEL // KEY WEST, FLORIDA
Her name is Sushi (the drag queen, not the stiletto). But Sushi is just one of the many midnight drop options in Key West: They also drop a 6-foot conch shell at Sloppy Joe's and a pirate wench at the Schooner Wharf Bar.
16. 200 POUNDS OF BOLOGNA // LEBANON, PENNSYLVANIA
17. COAL // SHAMOKIN, PENNSYLVANIA
18. AN ONION // ST. GEORGE'S, BERMUDA
19. MARSHALL THE MUSKRAT // PRINCESS ANNE, MARYLAND
As if dropping a giant rodent wasn’t unique enough, Princess Anne has decked the stuffed semiaquatic rodent out in a top hat and bow tie. No, Princess Anne isn’t the hometown of the Captain and Tennille; the humble muskrat has been a target for trappers in the area since humans first inhabited it.
20. A LIVE OPOSSUM // BRASSTOWN, NORTH CAROLINA
In the self-proclaimed "Opossum Capital of the World," one of the little guys is lowered carefully at midnight, protected by a plexiglass cage. Though the critter is fed and released post-drop, PETA has been fighting the state to stop the live drop for several years. Looks like everything is proceeding this year as planned, though.
21. A PICKLE // MT. OLIVE, NORTH CAROLINA
If you love briny cucumbers, you'll appreciate the 3-foot pickle that drops down the flagpole at midnight Greenwich Mean Time. That’s 7 p.m. eastern. (“That way, we are official, we shout Happy New Year!—and we don't have to stay up until midnight," says the VisitNC website.)
22. AN ACORN // RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
It would take a Godzilla-like squirrel to carry away this 10-foot-tall nut made of 1250 pounds of copper and steel. Regular-sized squirrels can have a go at it, though: The acorn lives in Moore Square the other 364 days of the year and was created by sculptor David Benson to celebrate the City of Oaks.
23. YELLOW BREECHES // LOWER ALLEN TOWNSHIP, PENNSYLVANIA
Lower Allen Township wins for the quirkiest drop. The 5-foot-tall Bunyan-sized britches honor the local Yellow Breeches Creek—and for the kiddos, a pair of "baby breeches" is dropped at 10 p.m. instead of midnight.
24. A POTATO // BOISE, IDAHO
This year will be Boise's third year dropping a giant spud.
25. THE DEUCE OF CLUBS // SHOW LOW, ARIZONA
The city of Show Low got into the New Year’s object-drop game just a few years ago. According to city legend, the city was named when two feuding men decided to draw cards to decide who had to leave town. “If you show low, you win,” was the game, and the winner turned over the deuce of clubs.
26. A $14, 2-FOOT-WIDE METAL BALL LOWERED BY A 1961 FORD ECONOLINE TRUCK // TWIN FALLS, IDAHO
For the past several years, local bar owner Dave Woodhead has rigged his cheap auction find to drop 80 feet from a grain silo using a pulley system and his old pickup truck.
27. A KEY // FREDERICK, MARYLAND
In 2012, the city of Frederick began the tradition of dropping a 5-foot by 2.5-foot wooden key from a suspension bridge. Why a key? To honor one of its most famous sons, of course—The Star-Spangled Banner lyricist Francis Scott Key.
28. A BUNCH OF GRAPES // TEMECULA, CALIFORNIA
There's more than one way to toast the new year. Temecula, which is in the heart of California Wine Country, does it with a 5-foot-by-8-foot bunch of grapes made of 36 illuminated spheres and 48 sequined balls.
29. A MUSIC NOTE // NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE
The Music Note dropped at midnight in Nashville is a nod to the town's "Music City" nickname.
30. A PELICAN // PENSACOLA, FLORIDA
Pensacola pays homage to its city mascot by letting one with a 20-foot wingspan come home to roost at midnight. It's not a real pelican, mind you, but an aluminum one studded with more than 2000 lights.
31. A HOG // FAYETTEVILLE, ARKANSAS
"Last Night Fayetteville" is considered one of the top 10 New Year's Eve celebrations in the U.S.—and part of that accolade is due to the Hog Drop. Made with 1085 individually controlled LED lights, this oinker took more than 100 hours to create. Wilbur, eat your heart out—this is definitely Some Pig.
What Goes Up...
What goes up, stays up ... at least when it comes to these objects that are raised instead of dropped.
32. AN ORANGE WEARING SUNGLASSES // MIAMI, FLORIDA
"Big Orange" is a 35-foot neon orange that climbs 400 feet up the side of the InterContinental Hotel in Miami. And if that's not enough for you, there's also Pitbull.
33. A WATERMELON BALL // VINCENNES, INDIANA
When it gets to the top, the ball opens to release 12 real watermelons, making a mess that would make Gallagher proud in the splash zone below.
34. A GIANT HERSHEY'S KISS // HERSHEY, PENNSYLVANIA
The Kiss weighs 300 pounds and is seven feet tall before the "paper" plume is added. The banner brings the massive candy's height to 12 feet.
35. THE QUEEN CHARLOTTE CROWN // CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA
For those of us who aren’t well-schooled in city nicknames, Charlotte is sometimes known as the Queen City because Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was Queen consort of Great Britain when the city was incorporated. The crown is raised 25 feet in uptown Charlotte.