Every city has its own way of celebrating the turn of a new year. There’s no shortage of alcohol, parties and dazzling, dropping disco balls dangling from towers. But for some towns, this all seems just a bit too boring. Here are 13 towns that celebrate New Year’s Eve by dropping something a little more flavorful than a sparkly ball.
1. A Peep
Peeps usually make their only appearance during Easter, but in Bethlehem, the town where the famous candy was invented, New Years Eve brings the annual “PeepFest.” Every year on the 31st of December, a gigantic 400-pound Peep is dropped at precisely 5:15 p.m., followed by a colorful fireworks display. The massive Peep is made out of fiberglass and therefore, unfortunately, it is inedible. However, the big yellow icon is still a joy to see and something locals look forward to at the end of every year.
2. A Moonpie
More than 50,000 people descend on the downtown area for “MoonPie over Mobile,” an evening of celebration and activities including the drop of a 600 pound electric MoonPie. Other MoonPie merriment includes a giant MoonPie for photos and cutting of the world’s largest MoonPie in the courtyard of the Renaissance Riverview Plaza Hotel.
3. An olive
A huge olive is lowered down the side of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Price Tower, where it finds its way into a big (but disproportionately small) martini glass at midnight every New Years Eve at Bartlesville’s Olive Drop.
4. A peach
Of course Georgia would have a Peach Drop — and it’s actually quite popular. The Peach Drop is the largest New Year’s Eve celebration in the southeastern United States. The faux, fuzzy orange fruit attracts nearly 100,000 people every year. The annual event took place at Underground Atlanta for nearly 30 years, but has found a new home in Woodruff Park.
5. An Apple
Not to let its larger namesake have all the fun, nearly 10,000 locals gather every year to pay homage to their “Little Apple” nickname and watch a glowing Red Delicious apple descend upon them.
6. A big chunk of cheese
Plymouth, Wisconsin proclaims itself the “Cheese Capital of the World,” which is why you’ll find a big wedge of Sartori cheese being dropped in the final few seconds of every year.
7. 200 pounds of bologna
Lebanon, Pennsylvania has been the provider of this mostly obscure but much-loved luncheon meat since the 18th century. Bologna might not have the following it once did, but that doesn’t stop southeastern Pennsylvanian’s from celebrating their distinctive culinary heritage every New Year’s Eve. It takes about 12 feet of the cured-meat to top out at 200 pounds. Major bonus points for being the only actual edible food on this list.
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#throwbackthursday our annual New Year's Eve Grape Drop last year! Be sure to join us at this year's event on Saturday, December 31st from 6pm-12:30am. In the event of inclement weather, the celebration will continue just one block away inside the Old Town Temecula Community Theater. #grapedrop #cityoftemecula #quirkystyle
8. A bunch of grapes
The heart of California Wine Country toasts the new year with a 5-foot-by-8-foot bunch of grapes. More than 3,300 twinkling and L.E.D. lights illuminate the 36 spheres and 48 sequined balls that make up the glowing purple grapes.
9. A pickle
(Mt. Olive, North Carolina)
You might think a town called Mt. Olive would celebrate with its namesake food, but the town is named for a local food manufacturer, not necessarily its favorite briny food. It’s tough to compete with Mt. Olive pickles after all, and that’s why every New Year’s Eve, a 3-foot pickle drops down the flagpole promptly at 7 p.m. local time — which happens to be midnight Greenwich Mean Time.
10. A potato
Possibly the only #GlowTato in the world, the giant potato has been in use for five years. About 16 people can fit inside the spud, which is illuminated on the outside by more than 10,000 lights.
11. A sardine
An 8-foot sardine takes the plunge every New Year’s Eve at midnight from the third story of the Tides Institute & Museum of Art. Kissing the sardine before it’s raised is said to bring good luck for the year ahead. While Eastport is busy celebrating its fishing heritage with the sardine, they also extend a neighborly welcome to Canadians in attendance by lowering a giant red maple leaf at 11 p.m. ET to commemorate the start of the Canadian new year.
12. A watermelon ball
Residents of Vincennes ring in the New Year with a “watermelon drop” downtown, which kicks the year off with a good old fashioned mess.
13. An orange
The land where “flashy” and “tropical fruit” combine for the dropping of a 35-foot neon orange with sunglasses at midnight. And since it’s Miami, you can also count on tons of fireworks and a big party hosted by Pitbull.
(Originally published 12/23/17)