Well, it seems that event organizers for the annual Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration recently announced that the show will, indeed, go on this year in New York City; however, like a lot of things that have happened in 2020, the famous midnight ball drop will be a bit, er … “different” this year as the event goes virtual. Through a press release issued a just few weeks ago, Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance, stated:
“One thing that will never change is the ticking of time and the arrival of a New Year at midnight on December 31st, but this year there will be significantly new and enhanced virtual, visual and digital offerings…We will miss everyone this year, but we will bring our celebration to you, whether you want to turn off and turn away from the bad news of 2020, or turn to the new year with a sense of hope, renewal and resolution, you’ll be able to join us virtually like never before as part of the Times Square 2021 celebration.”
And speaking of “different”, though New York is famous for dropping the ball (in a good way) every New Year’s Eve since 1904, there are other cities that like to do things a little different every year. From possums to potatoes, read on to find out what unusual things are being dropped at midnight, December 31 around the nation to help bring in the coming year.
1. A GIANT PEEP // BETHLEHEM, PENNSYLVANIA
Each year, thousands of people from around the nation make the pilgrimage to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to enjoy PEEPSFEST®, the annual New Year’s Eve festival celebrating two days of fun with family-friendly activities that culminates with a 4-feet, 9-inches tall, 400-pound lit PEEPS® Chick that descends on Dec. 31 at midnight to officially bring in the beginning of an exciting new year. However, like this year’s Big Apple celebration, PEEPS® fans will have to experience the 12th annual PEEPSFEST® 2-day festival and PEEPS® Chick drop virtually on December 30th or 31st from the comfort of their own homes.
2. A GIANT WATERMELON // VINCENNES, INDIANA
If you’re a fan of the comedian Gallagher, then you’re sure to be a fan of Vincennes, Indiana‘s annual Watermelon Drop where a giant-500-pound watermelon mothership is hoisted into the air and, at the stroke of midnight on December 31, releases its fledglings on the earth below. (Usually the number of watermelons dropped is equal to the New Year to come; for example, in 2014 it was 15 melons and in 2019 it was 20 melons.) Sorry, Gallagher fans, no Sledge-O-Matics are used during the celebration.
3. AN OVERSIZED FLEA // EASTOVER, NORTH CAROLINA
Why a giant flea? Well, it seems back in the day, the town of Eastover, North Carolina was called Flea Hill, so in homage to its history, the town drops a 3-foot-tall, 30-pound ceramic flea each New Year’s Eve at midnight to ring (or would that be scratch?) in the New Year.
4. AIN’T THAT PEACHY! // ATLANTA, GEORGIA
A giant peach being dropped in the capital of the peach state? Who’d a thunk it? However, as far as crowds go, the Big Peach rivals those of the Big Apple as the largest New Year’s Eve celebration in the southeast. For the first time in its 30 year history, the Peach Drop was cancelled in 2019, and in 2020, it seems the peach is still up in the proverbial air. We personally believe that this is a great chance for nearby Eastman, Georgia, where Stuckey’s got its start, to start an annual tradition where a giant “pecannon” shoots Stuckey’s pecan log rolls into the hands of the revelers below, or maybe we’re just opportunist thinking out loud.
5. THE LITTLE APPLE’S BIG APPLE // MANHATTAN, KANSAS
Speaking of fruit, it seems the Big Apple has a Mid-Western cousin that also gathers its citizens together for some Auld Lang Syne every December 31. Each New Year in Manhattan, Kansas, 10,000 Manhattan citizens gather together to pay their respects to their “Little Apple” nickname and say goodbye to the old year and bringing in the new with a big Red Delicious apple.
6. A BIG BUNCH OF GRAPES // TEMECULA, CALIFORNIA
Our final fruit on our list of things dropped on New year’s Eve comes from Temecula, California, located in the heart of California’s Wine Country where the good citizens of the area come together to ring in the new year by watching a 5’ x 8’ bunch of grapes made of 36 illuminated spheres and 48 sequined balls drop at 12 sharp.
7. A MOONPIE // MOBILE, ALABAMA
As we’ve mentioned before, the MoonPie is that other Southern favorite treat (besides the Stuckey’s Pecan Log Roll, of course) so it makes sense that Southern city of Mobile, Alabama, (and “the Home of Mardi Gras”) would pay homage to its favorite Mardi Gras parade” throw” by dropping a 600-pound MoonPie on New Year’s Eve.
8. A REAL BIG FISH // PRAIRIE DU CHIEN, WISCONSIN
Every year in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, The “Droppin’ of the Carp” starts at 11:59 on New Year’s Eve”, and a whole, frozen, gussied-up, 20- to 30-pound carp named “Lucky” is lowered onto a throne to celebrate the new year.
What’s that? “They drop a…carp?” you ask?
Yesiree, we said carp.
You see, Prairie du Chien sits beside the Mississippi River, and as a result, its economy benefits from the fishing industry, especially the carp. Besides, the carp is seen by many cultures as a sign of good luck and prosperity, hence the name “Lucky”. So you see, “dropping a carp” isn’t such a weird tradition. (Okay, maybe it is a little weird.) Anyway, if you get the chance to catch it, don’t let this one get away!
9. A CHUNK OF CHEESE // PLYMOUTH, WISCONSIN
While we’re in Wisconsin, let’s drive over to the town of Plymouth which proudly declares itself to be “the Cheese Capital of the World”. That alone pretty much sums up why in the world anybody would want to drop a big hunk of cheese to welcome in the New Year. Hmmm… we wonder if they are also the mouse capital of the world. (On second thought, maybe that belongs to somebody else.)
10. A REAL BIG SMALL FISH // EASTPORT, MAINE
If you’re looking to celebrate New Year’s Eve a little differently, then Eastport, Maine, is the place to go to watch an 8-foot sardine drop at midnight from third story of the Tides Institute and Museum of Art. And just to show you how hospitable the people of Maine are, they also lower a giant illuminated Maple Leaf as a nod to our northern neighbors in Canada who live right across the Bay of Fundy. It’s like the BOGO of New Year’s Eve!
11. AN OLIVE // BARTLESVILLE, OKLAHOMA
Right outside the Price Tower, a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building that “forever changed the Oklahoma horizon”, a brightly lit olive drops from the top of the tower and gently plops neatly into an oversized martini glass every New Year’s Eve. (We’re not sure if the martini itself is shaken or stirred.)
12. A BEACH BALL // PANAMA CITY BEACH, FLORIDA
Panama City, Florida, drops an 800-pound beach ball at the stroke of midnight in a nod to the city’s tourist industry; however, kids get to watch the New Year come earlier in the evening as 10,000 inflatable beach balls drop from overhead nets at 8:30PM.
13. A WRENCH // MECHANICSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA
What more would expect from a town named Mechanicsburg?
14. A DUCK DECOY // HAVRE DE GRACE, MARYLAND
Because Havre De Grace, Maryland, is a sportsman’s paradise, the Susquehanna Hose Company drops a foam duck from a ladder truck at the stroke of midnight in the area of the Concord Point Lighthouse every New Year’s Eve to celebrate the start of the new year.
15. A PINECONE // FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA
Home to the largest Ponderosa Pine forest in the world, you wouldn’t expect anything less from Flagstaff than a huge, multi-colored pine cone to drop at midnight on December 31. (Well, we suppose you kind of actually could expect a little less since it started back in 1999 with a bunch of pinecones glued to a trash can.)
16. SUSHI (Sort of) // KEY WEST, FLORIDA
You’ve heard of the old woman who lives in a shoe, but how about the young drag queen that comes down in a shoe every New Years Eve at midnight in Key West, Florida? Her name is Sushi and though it seems Key West is the king of things dropped (everything from a 6-foot conch shell at Sloppy Joe’s and a pirate wench at the Schooner Wharf Bar), everybody knows that Sushi is the real queen of New Years Eve in the Keys.
17. A BUNCH OF BOLOGNA // LEBANON, PENNSYLVANIA
If you’ve always thought that these New Year’s celebrations were a bunch of baloney, then Lebanon, Pennsylvania, is the perfect place for you to celebrate the New Year. You see, Lebanon takes their bologna seriously, so much so that they welcome the new year with a heaping helping of America’s favorite lunchmeat – 200 pounds of the stuff, along with a six-foot-tall, papier-mâché version of The Bologna Ranger, gets lowered on New Year’s Eve.
18. A DILLY OF A PICKLE // MT. OLIVE, NORTH CAROLINA
If you’d like a few pickles to go with your aforementioned bologna, then head on down to Mt. Olive, North Kackalacky, and watch the 3-foot pickle that drops down the flagpole at 7 p.m. EST. Really? 7 p.m.? Well, maybe not “sandwich time”, but Greenwich Mean Time according to their website. And with a name like Mt. Olive, one wonders why not an olive like they do in Bartlesville, Oklahoma? Or maybe a pickled olive?
19. MARSHALL P. MUSKRAT // PRINCESS ANNE, MARYLAND
Princess Anne, Maryland holds its annual Midnight Muskrat Dive where every year Marshall P Muskrat glides down a zip line in a top hat and cape. Why a muskrat? Well, the muskrat was trapped for pelts and meat for generations on the Delmarva Peninsula, making it a prime candidate for a New Year’s Eve mascot. (By the way, Princess Anne, Maryland is located only 32 miles from Stuckey’s in Mappsville, Virginia if you’re craving a pecan log roll or anything. Just saying.)
Disclaimer: A living animal is not lowered: Marshall was a real muskrat found dead in the wild and was stuffed by a local taxidermist. It is humane and no live wild animals are tormented by fireworks or Delmarvans.
20. POSSUM DROP // TALLAPOOSA, GEORGIA
In Tallapoosa, Georgia, they use a stuffed opossum named Spencer who is suspended in a wire ball wrapped with Christmas lights and kept at ground level to allow spectators to see and have pictures taken with him until 11:30PM when he is raised to the top of the Cain Law Firm Building. At midnight amidst great fanfare and cheers, Spencer is slowly lowered to the ground to signify the start of the new year.
Disclaimer: A living animal is not lowered: Spencer was a real opossum found dead in the wild and was stuffed by local taxidermist Bud Jones. It is humane and no live wild animals are tormented by fireworks.
21. AN ACORN // RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
Want to know the reason that Stuckey’s hasn’t officially adopted the squirrel as its mascot yet? Well, it could be because it keeps getting lured away by the 10-foot-tall nut made of 1250 pounds of copper and steel, which was created by sculptor David Benson to celebrate the City of Oaks (Raleigh, North Kackalacky) that’s dropped every year at midnight.
22. DROP IT LIKE IT’S A HOT POTATO // BOISE, IDAHO
New Year’s Eve is no small potatoes in Boise, Idaho, where they drop a 20-foot long, 17-foot wide, 1,200-pound fiberglass potato to bring in the new year. Too bad it’s fiberglass because that would make a lot of yummy french fries!
23. A KEY // FREDERICK, MARYLAND
Frances Scott Key, the famous writer of America’s national anthem, the Star Spangled Banner, was born and raised in Frederick, Maryland, so in 2012, the city of Frederick began the tradition of dropping a 5-foot by 2.5-foot wooden key from a suspension bridge. A key! Francis Scott KEY! Get it? (We bet they tell good dad jokes in Frederick.)
So that’s what’s dropping around the country this year, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. We’ve left links to just about every one of these locations so you can see what places are about to drop and what places are still up in the air. Google them before you go and have a safe and fun road-trip!
And speaking of dropping, don’t forget to “drop” by one of your nearest Stuckey’s locations or the Stuckey’s website and pick up some of our famous Stuckey’s pecan log rolls or other fine pecan candies to eat along the way. While you’re there, pick up a few things like a Stuckey’s t-shirt, cap or mug for the folks back home. After all, whether it’s the holidays or any day, really, Stuckey’s memorabilia always makes a great gift for years to come.
And don’t forget you can still take 10% off your online purchase from now until midnight New Year’s Eve, so order online now!
Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road Trips Fun Again!
Whether your next road trip is by car or by rail, it’s not really a road trip without taking Stuckey’s along. From our world famous Stuckey’s Pecan Log Rolls to our mouthwatering Hunkey Dorey, Stuckey’s has all the road trips snacks you’ll need to get you where you’re going.
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Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road Trips Fun Again!