Everyone knows about the Big Apple's Big Ball that drops in Times Square at midnight, but what does your hometown do to welcome in a new year? During the past decade, cities and towns across the country have started their own New Year's Eve traditions, including (of course) dropping some oversized object that has local significance. There's (apparently) something quite compelling about braving the winter elements with a rowdy crowd and cheering as something large is dropped!
In our state, Raleigh drops a large acorn - it's the City of Oaks, so that's a nice fit and also fairly dignified (shown below in its off-season resting place). In Brasstown, NC they drop an opossum (live, but treated quite gingerly) - since it's the Opossum Capital this is also a good fit - no comment on how dignified it might be! As someone who occasionally sees one of these hideously-prehistoric animals skulking around the backyard after dark, I would never choose to ring in the new year with one. ~~ shudder~~
Eastport, Maine drops an 8-foot sardine (don't worry, it's wooden - but, just think how messy it would be if it were real!) and a bright red maple leaf in honor of their neighbors to the north. This is the only town I know of that has two different drops - the maple leaf is lowered an hour earlier as that part of Canada is in the Atlantic Time Zone.
Not to be North Carolina-centric, but there's another great celebration here - in Mt. Olive. They drop a big pickle (and you know how I love a good pickle!) into a vat of brine! Check it out here. This brings up an interesting point - while NYC drops a lighted ball, many towns celebrate with local delicacies (again, no comment on Brasstown's opossum!). Lebanon, Pennsylvania drops a 12-foot bologna - and it's not fake like the sardine or the pickle! It's a real bologna that weighs in at 150 pounds! And for the second year, Mobile, Alabama will celebrate with a giant Moon Pie!
But, they're not content to drop it like everyone else, so their countdown culminates with a Moon Pie rising - it's not a real one, of course, but rumor has it there will be lots of real ones available for hungry revelers. And the list goes on and on . . . Pensacola's Pelican, Hummeltown's Lollipop, Flagstaff's Pinecone, etc.
I'd love to hear how your hometown celebrates! Wishing you a great evening with lots of local favorites and nothing unexpected falling from the sky! And . . . don't forget the black-eyed peas and collards tomorrow for good luck and prosperity all year!