HERE ARE TEN UNIQUE, FUN, AND EXCITING DROPS ACROSS THE U.S. THESE ARE NOT JUST YOUR TYPICAL NEW YEAR’S EVE CELEBRATIONS! FIND OUT HOW OTHER STATES AROUND THE NATION CELEBRATE WITH THESE UNCONVENTIONAL DROPS.
By MARIANA MEJIA
THE GIANT BALL TIMES SQUARE, NEW YORK
Celebrations at Times Square began in 1904, but it wasn’t until 1907 that its New Year’s Eve ball descended from the flagpole atop Times Square for the first time. The ball has been made in seven various ways to commemorate the New Year. Jacob Starr, a young immigrant, constructed the very first New Year’s Eve ball. This ball was five feet wide and weighed 700 pounds. It was constructed out of iron and wood and illuminated with 125-watt bulbs. Waiters in the legendary “lobster spot” and other luxury eateries mostly in hotels around Times Square were handed battery-powered hats with mini lights saying “1908” and lit up in the night as part of the 1907-1908 era. The ball is now a geodesic sphere, 12 feet in diameter, weighing 11,875 pounds, encrusted with 2,688 Waterford Crystals, ranging its span from 4 3/4 inches to 5 3/4 inches per side, and lit up with colored LEDs till midnight. There are three top things to do in New York before the six p.m. festivities. Like going to the iconic skating rink at Rockefeller Center. Next, go bar hopping, and finally, scream the countdown while watching the fireworks and planting a kiss on someone!
THE GUITAR MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
The home of the blues, the birthplace of Rock & Roll, and now, ground zero for the guitar drop! It all started at the stroke of midnight on Dec. 31, 2008, as a 10-foot by 4-foot-wide Gibson guitar was dropped from more than 100 feet into a mass of 50,000 cheering fans for Benson and Salley, who created this event. Salley and Benson wanted Memphis to form a community and do something positive to start off the year. Memphis loves and welcomes visitors too. Here are three top things to do: VIP at Hard Rock Café, Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, and finally, a social media moment; Toast, boasts, and post!
THE GIANT ACORN RALEIGH, N. CAROLINA
Is this a candy-filled acorn, a time capsule or will it summon a giant metal squirrel? Each December 31, a giant copper acorn, the official monument commemorating the bicentennial since 1992 in “The City of Oaks,” is transported from Raleigh’s Moore Square to the roof of the Civic Center, where the giant 10-foot, 1,250-pound cop-
per acorn on NYE. In this sweet town, here are three top things to do on NYE: ride the Ferris wheel, skate at a neon pop-up roller rink, and watch the fireworks before the acorn drops. The acorn is always located in Moore Square Park and travels just a few blocks down the street for the festival. And yet, there’s still no sign of a giant squirrel.
THE PINEAPPLE HONOLULU, HAWAII
Aloha means both hello and goodbye! Perfect for the New Year’s Eve celebrations. Hawaii has beautiful weather all year-round. Here, you can escape the harsh winter and enjoy your NYE celebration with the sound
of the ocean breeze and crashing waves. Hawaii takes a unique twist on the New Year’s Eve ball drop by raising ahala kahiki or pineapple, up into the air. Here are three things you can do: Guests and locals can sip on some pineapple wine, dive in on the Hawaiian culture and watch this oversized fruit drop in commemoration of the upcoming year in the beautiful Mililani with Waikiki Beach Fireworks. Aloha!
Being near the largest Ponderosa Pine forests in North America, it’s fitting that each year in Flagstaff, Arizona, a giant 70-pound glowing metal pinecone is brought out for the drop in front of the Flagstaff citizens who gather in the historic downtown area to watch the pinecone fall from the bough of the Hotel Weatherford. The town has been watching the drop at the Hotel Weatherford since 1990. Visitors and locals alike can find three things to do here: Celebrate, dine and watch a live music band at several local bars and restaurants, watch the fireworks, and street dance while cheering for the New Year!
THE PEACH ATLANTA, GEORGIA
Carnival rides, vendors, and live music throughout the evening lead to the drop of the giant peach when midnight arrives. Atlanta’s peach drop serves as the central point for the more than 100,000 revelers who join in the family-friendly festival. A New Year’s Eve festival that started in 1989 and has continued since then. The peach itself is made out of fiberglass and foam and weighs in at over 800 pounds. It takes 58 seconds for the giant peach to descend the light-clustered 136-foot tower. This 1989 tradition is enjoyed and loved by family, friends, and neighbors. It sounds like a peachy New Year!
RED HEEL KEY WEST, FLORIDA
Come to the most unique drop located in Key West, Florida, where the world-famous drag queen named Sushi has been lowered to the ground in a large red high-heeled shoe since 1996. Sushi is lowered to a depth of 20 feet inside the fire-engine red shoe, made out of fiberglass and stainless steel. The shoe is a size 8 (that is, with a 4-foot-high heel). The Bourbon Street Pub was once just for the
LGBTQI+ community. But now, the pub welcomes all tourists and locals from every walk of life, as the streets get closed for partygoers to enjoy the warm Florida air and watch Sushi “drag” everyone into the New Year. Everyone is welcome!
Maine knows how to ring in the New Year with champagne, lobster, a clam drop, and fireworks, followed by a polar plunge and lobster dips. Arrive at the Lobster Dep before 7:00 p.m. and step inside into warmup and enjoy music, cookies, and hot cocoa. Every December 31st for the past 45 years, the giant clam known as Steamer has been lowered 25 feet from the bell tower at Yarmouth’s First Universalist Church. For the drop, they’ll be using Steamer, the official clam mascot of the clam festival. (Don’t worry, they only use the suit, with no one inside.) Come to Yarmouth, Maine for a wonderful family festivity for a merry night, or you can stop by on your way to your midnight celebrations.
Food trucks, a beer garden, fireworks, a ski and snowboard jump contest, and, of course, the potato drop in front of the Idaho State Capitol that rings in the New Year. This is a fairly recently-created festival that began in 2013 and has already seen great success. The giant potato weighs 2,000 pounds and is a 16-foot spud that is dropped when the clock strikes midnight. The potato mold was created with polystyrene resin, a type of plastic, which in turn allows light to shine through the cast, so its paint would look and feel like a real Idaho potato on the outside. Visitors love attending this event and becoming what they call “spec-taters”.
The cheesy celebration features live music, food, a bonfire, and the drop of the massive Sartori chunk of cheese. The massive 400-pound chunk of cheese is not authentic, but you can enjoy some delicious fresh cheese from local vendors. Plymouth Arts Center’s event has consistently made national and regional news and has been on the list of the top 10 things to do on New Year’s Eve since 2007. This event was to pay tribute to Plymouth’s cheese heritage and the thriving industry that exists today. Celebrate with the Cheese Head State!