Throughout the world, New Year’s Eve is celebrated with much revelry. Some head to parties hosted by friends or family, others show up at temples or churches to worship as soon as the new year arrives, and still others head into the downtown areas of big cities for some major partying.
The most famous New Year’s Eve party takes place at Times Square in New York City. With thousands of people packed in and millions more watching on TV, it really is quite a spectacle. The highlight of the evening, of course, is the countdown to midnight and the dropping of the Times Square Ball (which is disappointingly small in real life).
Not to be outdone, many smaller cities and towns across America hold their own New Year’s Eve parties. Some, like New York, drop glimmering balls. However, for some towns, a ball is just too boring. Instead, they drop some pretty unusual things.
Here are five of the strangest.
A Pickle – Mt. Olive, North Carolina and Dillsburg, Pennsylvnia
In both North Carolina and Pennsylvnia, a pickle is the item of choice to be dropped for New Year’s Eve celebrations.
In Mt. Olive, the pickle is dropped from the flag pole of the Mt. Olive Pickle Company at midnight UTC (7pm local time).
In Dillsburg, the town doesn’t have a pickle company, but chose to drop a pickle because of the town’s name. They actually drop two pickles each year, Mrs. Pickle at midnight UTC and Mr. Pickle and midnight local time.
Click here for more crazy things dropped on New Year’s Eve in Pennsylvania.
A Dead Fish – Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin
This small town in southern Wisconsin drops a dead carp for the new year. Now in its 12th year, the ‘Droppin of the Carp’ is the culmination of the town’s yearly Carp Festival. The fish, caught from the local waters, typically weighs 25-35 pounds and is named Lucky.
Lucky’s moment of fame doesn’t end when he hits the throne at midnight, however. To date, each Lucky has been buried in the town with a plaque and tree commemorating their drop.
100 Pounds of Bologna – Lebanon, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is easily the king of dropping stuff on New Year’s Eve, dropping more weird things than all of the other states combined. In the Central Pennsylvania town of Lebanon, they honor the town’s rich history of bologna by dropping 100 pounds of the stuff each year. The stick, which is 16 feet long, is donated to local food banks on January 1.
A Drag Queen named ‘Sushi’ – Key West, Florida
Every year, the 801 Saloon, a local gay bar, drops a drag queen named Sushi. Perched in a ruby slipper, Sushi has become a Key West Tradition over the last 15 years. When the slipper reaches the bottom, it pops the cork of a bottle of champagne, ringing in the new year.
A Moon Pie – Mobile, Alabama
In the southern town of Mobile, they drop one of the sweeter treats of the year, a 600-pound, electric Moon Pie. Moon Pies, which are basically big Oreos (a layer of cream filling nestled between two chocolate cakes) are manufactured in the town.
If not being able the eat the giant Moon Pie gets you down, don’t fret; each year the maker of Moon Pies, Chattanooga Bakery, dishes out an edible 55-pound Pie along with over 4,000 regular size ones.
Jim Cheney is the creator of Tripologist.com. Having traveled extensively in North America, Europe, and Asia, Jim enjoys sharing his love of travel and some of his favorite places to visit around the world. He lives in Pennsylvania, USA, with his wife and two kids.