Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wackiest New Year's Eve Ball Drops

New York City isn't the only place that has an awesome New Year's Eve celebration.  I came across this article on Travel & Leisure that lists some of the pretty insane ball drops around the US.  Enjoy!


pic via the Travel and Leisure article

Eastport, ME
A big red plywood maple leaf honoring nearby Canada is released at 11 p.m. and an eight-foot sardine (paying homage to the local industry) at midnight. Tides Institute & Museum of Art; (207) 853-4047; http://www.tidesinstitute.org/

Bethlehem, PA
Home to the headquarters of the ubiquitous bird-shaped Easter marshmallow candy, Bethlehem ceremoniously lowers a yellow, lighted, 85-pound fiberglass resin Peep at 5:15 p.m. and midnight. SteelStacks; (610) 332-3378; http://www.artsquest.org/

Raleigh, NC
A 1,250-pound steel-and-copper acorn is dropped at 7 p.m. (for the kids) and midnight. City Plaza; (919) 832-8699; http://www.firstnightraleigh.com/

Atlanta, GA
The largest New Year’s party in the Southeast features the fall of an 800-pound fiberglass-and-foam peach. Underground Atlanta; (404) 523-2311; www.peachdrop.com

Vincennes, IN
Known for its multimillion-dollar melon industry, Indiana raises an 18-foot, 500-pound watermelon into the sky, which then opens to release 12 real Knox County watermelons (don’t worry, there’s a splash zone below). Riverfront Pavilion; (800) 886-6443; http://www.vincennescvb.org/

Flagstaff, AZ
At 10 p.m. and midnight, the city lowers a six-foot pinecone. Why? Flagstaff lies on the edge of the world’s largest contiguous ponderosa forest. Hotel Weatherford; (928) 779-1919; http://www.weatherfordhotel.com/

Plymouth, WI
This town drops an 80-pound wedge of BellaVitano Gold cheese; alas, it’s made of Styrofoam. Plymouth Arts Center; (920) 892-8409; http://www.plymoutharts.org/

Elizabethtown, PA
Elizabethtown lowers a giant M&M at the rather unexpected time of 7 p.m.—so that it can correspond with its Irish sister city, Letterkenny. (717) 361-7188; www.elizabethtowncoc.com

Niagara Falls, NY
An illuminated 10-foot Gibson guitar is dropped every year at the Hard Rock Café, drawing crowds averaging 15,000–20,000 annually. Hard Rock Café Niagara Falls, 333 Prospect St.; (716) 282-0007

Key West, FL
The New Year kicks off here as flamboyantly as you’d expect. Key West’s now-famous festivities include dropping a drag queen named Sushi in a giant ruby red slipper. Bourbon Street Pub/New Orleans House complex, 724 Duval St.; (305) 293-9800

Lebanon, PA
Weighing more than 100 pounds, the giant bologna that is dropped in this Pennsylvania city brings crowds from all over. The meat is later donated to local shelters. 9th and Cumberland Streets; (717) 273-7215; www.lebanonpa.com/events

Bartlesville, OK
In 2012, for the eighth year and counting, the town of Bartlesville will drop a giant green olive into a large martini glass that waits at the base of a 221-foot-tall building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Price Tower Arts Center; (918) 336-4949, ext: 19; http://www.pricetower.org/

Havre de Grace, MD
Known for manufacturing duck decoys, Havre de Grace releases a mammoth 10-foot-by-15-foot wooden illuminated duck decoy. Created by a local resident, the faux fowl is released from a 102-foot ladder truck. Havre de Grace Middle School Grounds; (410) 939-2100; http://www.hdgtourism.com/

Prairie du Chien, WI
You’ll have to get in line for a good luck kiss from a 20-plus-pound fish in Prairie du Chien, where revelers await Lucky, the frozen carp. Donning a crown, the spray-painted fish is lowered 110 feet from the air into a wooden cradle at the stroke of midnight. St. Feriole Island; (608) 326-8602; http://www.prairieduchien.org/

Brasstown, NC
A live opossum is lowered by a rope from a plexiglass cage in Brasstown, considered the opossum capital of the world. This may seem like a natural New Year’s festivity to longtime residents, but PETA has recently spoken out against the event. Clay’s Corner gas station; (828) 837-3797; http://www.clayscorner.com/

Hershey, PA
A seven-foot, 300-pound silver Hershey’s kiss is raised 50 feet up the side of the Hershey Press Building—not dropped. The reason why? Two children’s hospitals overlook the street where the event happens, letting sick kids kiss the New Year hello without leaving their room. 27 W. Chocolate Ave., (800) 437-7439, http://www.hersheynewyears.org/

Duncannon, PA
A 10-foot sled makes its way down 110 feet from a restored fire lookout tower each New Year’s Eve at midnight. It’s a homage to the Lightning Guider, a sled manufactured at the Standard Sled Factory, which operated in Duncannon for more than 80 years. Sled Works on Market Street; (717) 834-4311; http://www.sledworks.com/

Miami, FL
In Miami, never a destination to conform, folks gather at coastal Bayfront Park to count down the New Year by raising their ball: a giant, neon orange, complete with sunglasses—that staple local accessory. Bayfront Park; (305) 358-7550; http://www.bayfrontparkmiami.com/

Chincoteague Island, VA
The heavily costumed festivities begin at 10:30 p.m. in Robert Reed Park, but everything comes to a halt when a lit-up horseshoe descends for the countdown. Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce; (757) 336-6161; http://www.chincoteaguechamber.com/

Mobile, AL
Nothing says the New Year more than a marshmallow sandwich—at least not in Mobile, where residents consume more than four million MoonPies each year. So at midnight, a 12-foot-tall electronic version will drop from the city’s 34-story RSA BankTrust building in the annual “MoonPie over Mobile” celebration. http://www.cityofmobile.org/

Easton, MD
Celebrating the crustacean is a year-round effort in this Chesapeake Bay town, and it culminates in the dropping of a giant papier-mâché blue crab on New Year’s Eve at 9 p.m. and midnight. (410)-770-8000; http://www.eastonmd.org/

Panama City, FL
A beach-ball drop is the natural choice for oceanfront Panama City and will be back at Pier Park for the fourth year in 2011. The 800-pound illuminated ball bounces twice—at a kid-friendly 8 p.m. and again at midnight—with stilt walkers, fireworks, and live music. 600 Pier Park Dr.; (850) 233-5070; http://www.visitpanamacitybeach.com/

Honolulu, HI
The Kahala Hotel & Resort may host a fancy poolside gala on New Year’s Eve, but even it gets in the wacky spirit as midnight approaches—lowering a 14-foot papier-mâché pineapple from the roof. Kahala Hotel & Resort; 5000 Kahala Ave.; http://www.kahalaresort.com/

Manhattan, KS
This Midwest Manhattan embraces its status as the “Little Apple” by choosing to drop a shiny red apple before a crowd of more than 10,000. A laser show set to music gets things going at 10 p.m. Aggieville; Manhattan Avenue and Moro Street; http://www.littleappernewyears.com/

Pensacola, FL
To celebrate the New Year and the Gulf Coast, this aluminum pelican with a 20-foot wingspan drops at midnight to the delight of the crowd of about 50,000. Come for the kid-friendly countdown at 8 p.m. to watch as it lifts off to its 100-foot-tall perch, or wait until it drops at midnight. Downtown Pensacola; Palafox Street and Government Street; http://www.pensacolapelicandrop.com/

Fayetteville, AR
In the home of the Razorbacks, the hog drop (seen in the pictures here) was the traditional midnight countdown for several years. This year, with the debut Last Night Fayetteville event, there’s a new hog in town: a locally sculpted winged hog with an 8.5-foot wingspan will welcome 2012 as it’s dropped from the top of a fire truck ladder. Fayetteville Square; http://www.lastnightfayetteville.com/

Eastover, NC
In a nod to the town’s original name, Flea Hill, a three-foot-tall flea made of fabric, foam, wire, and wood drops from the Eastover Community Center. But be forewarned: this is a family affair, so no booze allowed. Town of Eastover; (910) 323-0707; http://www.eastovernc.com/

Traverse City, MI
With a cherry on top—that’s how you’ll get your New Year’s at the CherryT Ball Drop in Traverse City. Just before midnight, the giant cherry, illuminated by 5,000–7,000 Christmas lights, descends more than 200 feet from a crane hovering over the downtown skyline. Downtown Traverse City; (231) 944-1500; http://www.cherrytballdrop.com/

Mount Olive, NC
Folks in town make way for a well-lit three-foot pickle to slide down a 45-foot flagpole into a barrel—a 13-year tradition known as the great Pickle Drop and courtesy of the Mt. Olive Pickle Company. Corner of Cucumber and Vine; (800) 672-5041; http://www.mtolivepickles.com/

Port Clinton, OH
“Madness at Midnight” sets in New Year’s Eve in Port Clinton—the walleye capital of the world—as a 20-foot, 600-pound fiberglass walleye, created by a local taxidermist, gets dropped from a 150-foot crane. Locals stand ready with netting to catch it. Madison Street; (419) 734-0022; http://www.walleyemadness.com/

Shamokin, PA
Fittingly, for an old coal-mining city, the residents of this small community gather to watch a large piece of faux coal descend as they count down. City of Shamokin; (570) 644-0876; http://www.shamokincity.org/

New Orleans, LA
A fleur-de-lis, the symbol of New Orleans, descends from a 25-foot pole at the top of the Jax Brewery Condominiums at midnight. Catch the best views across the street from Jackson Square, where there’s live music all night. In past years, a New Year’s baby (wearing a Saints helmet, of course) dropped at midnight. Jax Brewery; N. St. Peters Street and Decatur Street; http://www.neworleans.com/

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