10 Incredibly Strange New Year’s Eve “Ball” Drop Celebrations!

Okay, so we all know about the big dumb ball that drops in Times Square to signal in the New Year, witnessed yearly by a crush of humanity. Revelers first started congregating in Time Square as early as 1904  but the  premiere ball drop in the epicenter of New York didn’t occurred until 1907; when old-timey people marveled at a 5-foot iron and wooden ball wrapped in lights that was built by an immigrant named Jacob Starr.


The ball made its inaugural descent from a flagpole atop of One Time Square. Celebration then ensued as old-timey people twirled their handle-barred mustaches and tipped their top hats. The ball has been dropping on New Year’s Eve ever since. (Excluding 1942-43 due to World War II.)


But let’s say you are an inferior city that isn’t New York and you don’t have access to a ball. How the hell do you trumpet in YOUR New Year’s Eve if you have a proclivity for dropping something to commemorate this celebratory passing of time? Let’s take a look at everything from giant cheese to giant marshmallow confectionaries. Ready? 5-4-3-2-1…

1) NYE Indy Car Drop

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A tradition that dates back to 2014, right at midnight in Indianapolis, IN an Indy racecar is dropped to celebrate the New Year. Well, the racecar doesn’t actually drop (which would be awesome) – it’s more “lowered” (which sounds idiotic). The car just kind of descends front end from a cable and then dangles a bit. Happy New Year!

2) NYE Peep Drop

Bethlehem, PA is the home to the marshmallow confectionary known as Peeps. So what better way to ring in NYE than by dropping a giant Peep from the roof of the manufacturer’s headquarters? This would be kind of great if it were a giant Peep made entirely of marshmallow that revelers could descend upon and consume once it hit the ground. Sadly, it isn’t and they don’t.

3) Brasstown’s NYE Giant Possum Drop

This almost sounds like a Jeff Foxworthy joke: “You might be a redneck if you drop a possum at midnight to celebrate New Year’s Eve!” Brasstown’s, North Carolina’s big claim to fame is dropping a live, caged possum precisely at the stroke of midnight. Again; not really “dropped” – but lowered in a cage. And then you kiss your sister.

4) Maine’s Giant Sardine New Year’s Eve Drop    

Leave it to Eastport, Maine to drop a giant sardine at midnight – to celebrate New Year’s Eve and the town’s herring fishing industry. This is purely incredible – a large, fake, sardine is lowered by wires from the roof of a building as music plays. In turn, it looks like something right out of Monty Python. The giant sardine has even gotten kisses from women in the crowd.

5) New Year’s Eve Watermelon Drop on a ‘Splatform’

Vincennes, IN raises a 500 lbs. watermelon 100 feet in the air  that lights up with the perspective year right at midnight. Though the large watermelon doesn’t ‘drop’ – a hatch then opens up and 15 regular-sized watermelons do drop out onto a “splatform.” Happy NYE!

6) NYE Bologna Drop

What better way to ring in the New Year than by dropping luncheon meat! In Lebanon, PA, the most famous local industry is bologna. So the Kutztown/Daniel Weaver Bologna Company steps up to the plate with a 200lbs bologna- that is carved up and consumed by revelers once it drops at midnight. Not to be cynical, but dropping a giant bologna does look like you’re dropping a giant piece of poo…

7) 12-Foot NYE MoonPie Drop

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On New Year’s they drop a giant MoonPie over Mobile, AL. (Insert your own joke here on how you like to drop a giant MoonPie on Mobile!) Part of the celebration involves the cutting of the world’s largest edible MoonPie, MoonPie-tastic!

8) Prescott’s NYE Boot

If you’re venturing to Prescott, AZ this NYE – surely you’ll enjoy ushering the New Year by watching a giant illuminated 6-foot cowboy boot being lowered onto a rough surface. For some reason, the boot drops at both 10pm and midnight. That’s twice the boot-dropping excitement!

9) Plymouth’s Chunk of Cheese NYE Drop

Wisconsin is the Dairy State. The town of Plymouth rubs your nose in this fact by dropping a giant decorated metal cheese wedge precisely at midnight from a fire engine ladder. From watching the video, it’s a spectacle almost exciting as watching activity on a construction site.

10) Boise’s NYE Potato Drop

So I spot a motif running through all these NYE drops: whatever is your main industry or claim to fame – you drop it from high up at midnight. Thus explains Boise’s midnight NYE Potato Drop. Fun fact: The giant foam potato is larger than a Subaru car. 5-4-3-2-1..DROP THE POTATO. What would be really great is if it landed into a giant vat of sour crème.

Follow Harmon Leon on Twitter @HarmonLeon