From a paper-mache Bermuda onion to a 200-pound tangerine to Snooki from “Jersey Shore”, the weirdest objects are dropped on New Year’s Eve.
We’re familiar with the large crystal ball that’s lowered down a pole in Times Square, but other objects make that ball look – well – square. Here are a few of the highlights by state:
- Mobile, Alabama: A 600-pound, lit Moon Pie is lowered from the RSA Tower in the “MoonPie Over Mobile” festivities sponsored by Chattanooga Bakery. The drop is televised locally by WKRG-TV and syndicated to Alabama television stations owned by Raycom Media (who is headquartered in the tower). Festivities also include a Mardi Gras-styled parade, as moon pies are a traditional “throw” at Mardi Gras events in Mobile.
- Wetumpka, Alabama: A meteorite is dropped at the Old Courthouse at 11 pm Central Time in honor of the meteorite that hit the River City. At the stroke of midnight, a big fireworks display takes place over the river.
- Tucson, Arizona: Starting in 2014, a large replica Taco was dropped from the roof of the Hotel Congress
- Fayetteville, Arkansas: A hog is dropped.
- St. George’s, Bermuda: A paper-mache Bermuda onion covered in Christmas lights is dropped.
- South Lake Tahoe, California: A gondola is lowered at midnight Eastern Time.
- Brooksville, Florida: A 200-pound tangerine was dropped 40 feet during the countdown to midnight until 2009. The tangerine dropped was an emblem of the citrus industry that once thrived in Brooksville.
- Key West, Florida (Sloppy Joe’s Bar): The Key West Conch Drop, where a six-foot Queen Conch Shell drops 20 feet to the top of the bar to usher in the New Year, is held annually for the island’s official New Year celebrations.
- Key West, Florida (801 Saloon): The 801 Saloon, a local gay bar, drops a ruby slipper with drag queen Gary “Sushi” Marion inside each year.
- Miami, Florida: Miami is the home of “The Big Orange” Drop. (Florida is the orange state) A 35-foot piece of flat neon signage, dubbed “Mr. Neon” and designed in the shape of an orange with sunglasses, rises 400 feet until it reaches the top of the Hotel Intercontinental Miami and is dropped from the top.
- Winter Haven, Florida (Legoland): A Lego brick is dropped at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
- Gainesville, Georgia: The “Chuck the Chicken” Drop started in 2009 to benefit the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia.
- Tallapoosa, Georgia: A stuffed opossum named Spencer is lowered.
- Boise, Idaho: Since 2014, a giant potato has been dropped from the US Bank building in downtown Boise. On September 16, 2015, it was announced that for 2016, the event was moving two blocks northeast to the Idaho State Capitol building
- Indianapolis, Indiana: An Indy car is dropped beginning in 2014–15.
- Vincennes, Indiana (near Terre Haute): The giant 18-foot, 500-pound steel-and-foam Watermelon Ball is raised 100 feet in the air during the 60-second countdown at midnight, then the replica releases 11 real locally-grown watermelons
- Eastport, Maine: A sardine is dropped in a nod to the area’s history in the herring fishing and canning industry.
- Havre de Grace, Maryland – An eight-foot long, five-foot high wood-and-plastic foam lit duck has been dropped since 2000.
- Ann Arbor, Michigan: For 2014, a lit hockey puck was “dropped” in honor of the NHL Winter Classic game occurring on New Year’s Day at Michigan Stadium.
- Kansas City, Missouri: Michael “The Doughboy” Maslak, the longest-tenured improviser at the ComedyCity improv theater, is draped in lights and dropped by members of the troupe.
- Point Pleasant, New Jersey: “The Millennium Mossbunker,” a mossbunker fish, was dropped for the year 2000.
- Seaside Heights, New Jersey: Snooki from MTV’s reality series Jersey Shore (which is set in Seaside Heights) was lowered inside a ball in 2011 for the network’s New Year’s Eve special. While the drop was originally to be held inside MTV’s studios at Times Square alongside its more famous counterpart, city officials asked MTV not to do so.
- Las Cruces, New Mexico: A 19-foot illuminated chrome chili pepper is dropped.
- New York City (rotating locations, Greenwood Heights for 2011): A giant lighted ukulele, dropped by “Sonic Uke” (a local ukulele playing duo), has been dropped each year in a different location since 2004–05.
- Brasstown, North Carolina: A plexiglas pyramid containing a living opossum is lowered from the roof of Clay Logan’s convenience store for The Possum Drop. The possum is turned loose at the end of the celebration. Despite these measures, the event has been met with criticism from animal rights activists, particularly PETA, who has a history of objections to the event. The event resumed in 2014.
- Elmore, Ohio: A sausage is dropped.
- Marion, Ohio: A ball of popcorn is dropped.
- Port Clinton, Ohio: A walleye fish named “Captain Wylie Walleye” is dropped.
- Cincinnati, Ohio: A flying pig is “flown”, not dropped, confirming there is at least one occasion “when pigs fly”.
- Niagara Falls, Ontario: The elevator of the Skylon Tower is raised. The event, and an associated concert, was televised by the Global Television Network through the 2015 celebration. The event drew 65,000 spectators for the 2013 celebration, which was headlined by Dragonette, Hedley, and Nelly Furtado.
- Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania: A giant M&M is dropped at midnight UTC to correspond with midnight in sister city Letterkenny in Ireland. This changed to a Dove chocolate bar in 2012-13; both Dove and M&M’s are manufactured in Elizabethtown.
- Plymouth, Wisconsin: Plymouth drops an 80-pound decorated cheese wedge, the newest Wisconsin cheese, from a 100 ft. ladder truck in a tribute to the region’s dairy industry and dairy products. The Plymouth Arts Center hosts the annual “Build Your Own New Year’s Party” next to the Creamery Building’s parking lot where “The Big Cheese Drop” takes place.
Sorry if I missed your state – the full list can be found at Wikipedia. Fun fact: the state where the most objects are dropped on New Year’s Eve is Pennsylvania.
Know of any interesting objects that are raised and/or dropped for New Year’s Eve? Drop us a comment-shaped object below.
Siobhan is a freelance writer, research addict and lover of twisted history. If you like horrible but amazing history, check out her website www.interesly.com or Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/interesly. Or you can reach her through www.siobhanoshea.com.