It all started with Groundhog Day, you know. There was a famous groundhog prognosticator in Pennsylvania, and soon after cities came up with their own weather fortune teller whistle pig. Such is the case with the big New Years Eve ball drop.
When you think of New Years Eve, all those who don’t live under a rock know about the ball drop at midnight in Times Square in fantastic New York City. I took a picture of it from the top of the Rockefeller Center when I was there this summer. It’s just not the same, I guess, as being there smooshed up against thousands of people on a cold, drunken New Year’s Eve.
The first ball drop in Times Square took place on December 31, 1907. According to Wikipedia:
“The first New Year’s Eve celebration in what is now known as Times Square was held on New Year’s Eve 1904. The New York Times newspaper had opened their new headquarters at One Times Square (at the time, the city’s second tallest building) and persuaded the city to rename the triangular “square” surrounding it for their newspaper (which the city later did on April 8, 1904). The newspaper’s owner decided to celebrate the opening of the company’s new headquarters with a midnight fireworks show on the roof of the building on December 31, 1903. Close to 200,000 people attended the event, displacing traditional celebrations that had normally been held at Trinity Church. After four years of New Year’s Eve fireworks celebrations, the newspaper’s chief electrician Walter F. Palmer constructed an electrically lit time ball that would be lowered from the flagpole on the roof of One Times Square. It was constructed with iron and wood, lit with one hundred 25-watt bulbs, weighed 700 pounds (320 kg), and measured 5 feet (1.5 m) in diameter. It was first lowered on New Year’s Eve 1908 (December 31, 1907).”
The Times Square ball drop is one of the best-known New Year’s celebrations, attended by at least one million spectators yearly. The Times Square ball drop has also inspired other drops across our great nation. So, if you can’t be there in New York City for the ball drop, and don’t really care to watch it on tv, you can always check to see if your city has a creative drop of their very own. Not all cities drop balls. Some cities use their famous icon to ring in the new year. It is obvious the state of Pennsylvania loves to share their symbols on New Years Eve.
* Eastport, Maine- a maple leaf is dropped. There is also a sardine drop in the city also. The Great Sardine and Maple Leaf Drop
* Saint George’s, Bermuda- a Bermuda onion wrapped in Christmas lights is dropped.
* Key West, Florida- A gigantic conch shell is dropped. There is also a gay bar that drops a giant ruby slipper with a drag queen inside. Fun times.
* Miami, Florida- The Big Orange Drop. Well, Florida is the orange capital of the world. “Mr. Neon” was recently renamed, “La Gran Naranja,” which I am thinking means the big orange. I really know my spanish.
* Atlanta,Georgia- The Peach Drop. Georgia loves their peaches.
* Gainesville, Georgia- Chuck the chicken drop in honor of the humane society.
*Harrisburg, Pennsylvania- strawberry drop.
* Tallapoosa, Georgia- they drop an oppossum. It started out as a joke and has now grown as their biggest yearly event. I hope it isn’t alive. The Possum Drop
* Winder, Georgia- A jug drop.
* Easton, Maryland- a crab drop.
* Havre de Grace, Maryland- a duck.
* Princesss Anne, Maryland- a muscrat.
* Niagara Falls, New York- A Gibson guitar is dropped from the Hard Rock Cafe.
* Black Creek, North Carolina: A large red heart drop represents “A Small Town with a Big Heart.”
* Eastover, North Carolina- a flea is dropped….. A flea.
* Charlotte, North Carolina- a crown is dropped.
* Mount Olive, North Carolina- The New Years Eve Pickle Drop.
*Raleigh, North Carolina- Acorn drop
* Elmore, Ohio- a sausage is dropped.
* Marion, Ohio- a popcorn ball is dropped. Marion is the popcorn capital of the world.
*Port Clinton, Ohio- a walleye fish named “Captain Wylie Walleye” is dropped. Walleye Madness.
* Cincinnati, Ohio- A flying pig is not dropped, but flown, maybe to show there is at least one time “when pigs fly”.
* Allentown, Pennsylvania- a replica of the liberty bell is dropped.
* Akron, Pennsylvania- a gold and purple shoe is dropped.
* Beavertown, Pennsylvania- a beaver is dropped. I hope to God it isn’t real. PETA would be all over them.
*Bethlehem, Pennsylvania- a Peep is dropped. Yes, one of those yellow Easter peeps. The company that produces Peeps is based there. I was happy to see they aren’t dropping baby Jesus in Bethlehem that night.
*Blain, Pennsylvania- a wooden cow is dropped from a silo. Moo.
*Cleona, Pennsylvania- a pretzel is not dropped, but raised. Why, Cleona, are you raising the pretzel? Not cool.
*Carlisle, Pennsylvania- an Indy car is dropped.
*Cornwall, Pennsylvania- a Cannonball Drop.
*Dillsburg, Pennsylvania- two pickles are dropped. I guess one should drop a pickle in Dillsburg.
*Duncannon, Pennsylvania- a sled is dropped….without any kids holding on I presume.
*Easton, Pennsylvania- a crayola crayon is dropped early in the night to accommodate little kiddie’s bedtimes.
*Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania- a giant M& M is dropped.
*Falmouth, Pennsylvania- a stuffed goat is dropped.
*Frogtown, Pennsylvania- a frog is dropped. This is getting sort of redundant, no?
*Gratz, Pennsylvania- a wildcat is dropped.
*Halifax, Pennsylvania- a hemlock tree. Oh, come on, now!
*Harrisburg, Pennsylvania- a strawberry is dropped. My son has been to this one.
*Hershey, Pennsylvania- a Hershey Kiss is dropped. Well, this makes sense.
*Hummelstown, Pennsylvania- a lollipop is dropped.
*Ickesburg, Pennsylvania- a french fry is dropped. These people are just bored.
* Lebanon, Pennsylvania- a giant stick of bologna is dropped.
*Lisburn, Pennsylvania- a pair of yellow pants is dropped. Can’t wait to read the history on this one.
*Liverpool, Pennsylvania- a canal boat is dropped.
*McClure, Pennsylvania- a kettle is dropped in honor of their Bean Soup Festival.
*Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania- a wrench is dropped. The Wrench Drop
*New Oxford, Pennsylvania- an antique trunk is dropped.
*Palmyra, Pennsylvania- The Giant Shoe is dropped.
*Pottsville, Pennsylvania- a bottle of Yuengling beer is raised. I bet those attendees are having fun that evening.
*Red Lion, Pennsylvania- a cigar is dropped.
*Shippensburg, Pennsylvania- an anchor is dropped.
*Strasburg, Pennsylvania- ping pong balls are dropped.
*Shamokin, Pennsylvania- a chunk of coal is dropped, turning into a diamond when it hits the bottom….like magic…oooh
*Hilton Head Island, South Carolina- a giant golf ball.
*Fredericksburg, Virginia- a pear is dropped.
*Mobile, Alabama- a moon pie is dropped. Yes, a moon pie and then the manufacturers of the moon pie hand out about 5,000 of them to revelers.
*Wetumpka, Alabama- a meteorite is dropped in honor of the meterorite that hit the city. Um, ok.
*Fayetteville, Arkansas- a hog is dropped.
*Panama City, Florida- a beach ball is dropped.
*Pensacola, Florida- a pelican is dropped.
*Des Plaines, Illinois- a diamond is dropped.
*Manhattan, Kansas- “The Little Apple” is dropped. I get it. Cute.
*New Orleans, Louisiana- a gumbo pot was dropped for a while. The new drop is Fleur-de-lis. Like I’m supposed to know what that is.
*Bartlesville, Oklahoma- an olive is dropped.
*Memphis and Nashville- a guitar and a music note.
* Plymouth, Wisconsin- a cheese wedge is dropped.
*Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin- a dead carp caught by locals is lowered.
* Show Low, Arizona- a deuce of clubs cards is dropped.
*Flagstaff, Arizona- a pine cone is dropped.
*Tempe, Arizona- a giant tortilla chip.
*Honolulu, Hawaii- a pineapple is dropped.
*Vincennes, Indiana- watermelon drop. Many engineering students across the nation drop watermelons and pumpkins throughout the year.
So, there you have it. There are New Year’s Eve celebrations all across the world. Many more cities just drop a ball, but some places use their representative symbol to usher in a brand new year. Happy New Year to all!
I have decided to have my own celebration….. I am going to drop a few pounds.
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