More than 100 years ago, on December 31, 1907, the New York Times threw a party in Times Square. Instead of the traditional fireworks — the city had banned them — it decided to try something a little different: lower a 700-lb ball, made of wood and iron and decorated with 100 light bulbs.
And so, the New Years Eve ball drop was born.
The dropping of things to ring in the new year is now a uniquely American tradition, with local varieties around the country. In Georgia and in Pennsylvania, in Idaho and in Maine, people ring in the new year by dropping things: a beach ball, a potato, a pickle and a peach drop.
Here are 16 of the weirdest things dropped to ring in the new year around the country:
1. Giant Key Drop — Frederick, Maryland
The tradition is an homage to Francis Scott Key, who wrote the Star Spangled Banner, and is from this town.
2. Watermelon Drop — Vincennes, Indiana
Seventeen, to be precise.
3. The To Go Cup — Savannah, Georgia
In a twist, Savannah raises, instead of dropping, a giant to-go cup. The tradition is a nod to the city’s laws that allow pedestrians to carry alcohol in the streets in to-go cups.
4. Crab drop — Easton, Maryland
5. Bologna Drop - Lebanon, Pennsylvania
Twenty 10-lb blocks of meat.
6. Wrench Drop — Mechanicsville, Pennsyvlania
The tradition commemorates the town’s founders and started as an Eagle Scout project more than a decade ago.
7. Possum Drop — Tallapoosa, Georgia
In this town in West Georgia, which was once called “Possum Snout,” Spencer, a stuffed possum in a ball covered in holiday lights is lowered.
8. Pickle Drop — Mt. Olive, North Carolina
In this North Carolina town, at the corner of Cucumber and Vine streets, a three-foot glowing pickle is lowered.
9. Pickle drop — Dillsburg, Pennsylvania
Yes, there are two towns that drop pickles on New Years Eve.
10. Potato Drop — Boise, Idaho
It’s a giant foam potato.
11. Shoe Drop — Akron, Pennsylvania
The shoe that rings in the new year in this town in Pennsylvania has a canvas cover and rope-light laces.
12. Flea Drop — Eastover, North Carolina
According to the event website, as the clock strikes midnight, a 30-lb ceramic flea is dropped and a cannon is fired.
13. Peach Drop — Atlanta, Georgia
Since 1989, the peach state has rung in the new year with a peach drop. A giant 800-lb peach is the centerpiece of the celebration.
14. Cherry Drop — Traverse, Michigan
According to the event website, the region in Michigan grows 75% of the nation’s annual tart cherry crop.
15. Beach Ball Drop — Bangor, Maine
16. The Pineapple Drop — Sarasota Florida