National

Pickles, tacos, opossums and peeps. They all drop on New Year’s.

By Brian Murphy

bmurphy@mcclatchy.com

The ball dropping in New York City’s Times Square is the quintessential New Year’s Eve moment.

But why should those often freezing party-goers in New York have all the fun?

Localities across the nation have embraced their own version of the Times Square ball drop — and added a local twist.

Take Memphis, known for its incredible music history. For the ninth year, they’ll drop a 10-foot D’Angelico guitar from 100 feet above Beale Street at midnight.

USA Today put Memphis at No. 1 on its list of five weird things that will drop on Dec. 31. But there’s way weirder things than that.

Like the 4-foot-9, 200-pound PEEPS chick that will fall in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania at 5:15 p.m. to mark the end of the eighth annual PeepsFest. PEEPS, those delicious marshmallow creatures that typically appear around Easter or in the back of your freezer, has its own New Year’s drop.

Bravo’s “The Feast” lists eight weird foods that fall on New Year’s, including a peach in Atlanta and a huge wedge of cheese in Plymouth, Wisconsin.

There will be no “taco drop” in Tucson this year, but the pickle will still go down in Mount Olive, N.C. “Watch a glowing, three-foot pickle descend down the Mt. Olive Pickle Company flagpole and into a perfectly preserved redwood pickle tank,” is how the company pitches it. The also have free hot chocolate, cookies and, of course, pickles.

In Boise, Idaho, they drop a giant potato, although this year it’s going to be more of a “glowtato.”

In Easton, Maryland, they drop a red crab. In Traverse City, Michigan, it’s a cherry. In Elmore, Ohio, it’s a sausage, and in Temecula, California, they drop a bunch of grapes. There is no shortage of objects falling, according to Wikipedia.

But Brasstown, North Carolina might earn the prize. At Clay’s Corner, a store that bills itself as the opossum capital of the world, they lower a opossum at their non-alcoholic family event.

They put the opossum in a plexiglass case and gently lower him (or her) down. CBS News was on hand for the 2011 drop, which included fireworks. The opossum is released after the event.

“We just want to let you know that we do absolutely nothing to harm the ‘possum. We celebrate in honor of this marsupial!” the event organizers say on their website.

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