Flagstaff’s pinecone drop is unique, but many other communities celebrate their uniqueness in similar fashion
Flagstaff’s unique version of Times Square on New Year’s Eve is set to go at the Weatherford Hotel in downtown Flagstaff. Flagstaff’s twinkling; 6-foot pine cone is in place, to be lowered at the stroke of midnight. (There will also be an early drop at 10:00 p.m. for families who’d like to get home early.) The Pine Cone Drop from the Weatherford has been a Flagstaff tradition since 1998.
Lowering a pine cone is not so odd when you think about Flagstaff’s spectacular, surrounding ponderosa pine forest. But what’s become our tradition has become a tradition in other towns across the land as well, with an assortment of strange and not-so-strange icons, dropped to celebrate the New Year.
Of course there’s the traditional 12-foot diameter, multi-colored Waterford Crystal ball, dropped in New York City. A lighted ball has been dropped in Times Square since 1907, the first adorned with 100, 25-watt bulbs.
But how about the “traditional” 20-foot, 600-pound walleye, named Captain Wylie Walleye, in Port Clinton, Ohio? (Walleye is a game fish that puts Port Clinton on the map on the shore of Lake Erie – a boon to the local economy – as “Walleye Capital of the World.”) Thousands have braved the cold in Port Clinton to cheer the celebrated fish for the past 16 years.
In eastern Arizona, they drop a deuce of clubs at midnight in Show Low, a practice just started to welcome 2012. According to legend, the origin of the town’s name is derived from a game of poker where the winner showed a deuce of clubs, the lowest card in the deck.
In tiny Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, what else would you drop but a dill pickle, positioned to drop into a barrel. It’s not just any dill pickle. “Mr. Pickle” is 8 feet tall and wears a bow tie and top hat.
Not too far away in Hershey, Pennsylvania, they drop a giant, foil-wrapped Hershey Kiss at midnight.
In Atlanta, at what’s billed as the largest New Year’s Eve celebration in the Southeast, the Atlanta Peach Drop draws upwards of 100,000 people.
In Easton, Maryland, famous for delicious blue crabs, a giant paper mache crab is lowered.
In other locales across the land you might see a sardine, a sausage, a possum, a stuffed goat, a ukulele, smashing watermelons, or a Crayola crayon. Something of what I am sure is but a partial list of objects dropped or celebrated on New Year’s Eve across the country can be found on Wikipedia – List of objects dropped on New Year’s Eve.
Wherever you are at the stroke of midnight, enjoy a happy and safe New Year’s Eve and a wonderful and prosperous 2015!