New Year's Drops Across the South
In other parts of the country, people celebrate New Year’s Eve by drinking champagne, singing “Auld Lang Syne” and popping fireworks. Here in the South, we’ve been known to do some drinking, singing and popping, but only if it’s while also dropping something. New Year’s Eve drops seem to be the norm at celebrations in this region. Some are just getting started, but others have been around for decades. Whether they’re lowering a giant lighted piece of fruit, snack item, state bird or symbol of their city, Southern towns go all out to ring in the New Year — and draw thousands of spectators while doing it.
No plans to get out of your pajamas and leave the house this year? No problem. Several of the drops will be live streamed online and/or televised, so you can participate in the fun no matter where you are.
Claim to Fame: Dubbed the largest New Year’s Eve celebration in the Southeast!
Peach Size: 800 pounds, constructed of fiberglass and foam
Location: Underground Atlanta on Upper Alabama Street
Drop Stats: When the countdown begins just before midnight, it will take the lighted peach 58 seconds to descend its 138-foot tower.
Pelican Size: 14 feet tall with a 20-foot wingspan
Claim to Fame: Pensacola is the only city to drop a pelican.
Drop Age: 7 years old
Location: Palafox and Government Streets
Drop Stats: Lighted pelican descends from its perch atop a 100-foot platform.
MoonPie Size: 12 feet tall and 600 pounds
Location: Government and Royal streets
Other Activities: Mardi Gras-style parade, street party, fireworks and laser show.
What to Bring: Your appetite, as thousands of MoonPies will be handed out.
Drop Age: 16 years
Drop Time: 7 p.m. midnight (7:00 EST, which happens to be midnight Greenwich Mean Time)
Location: Cucumber and Vine at Mt. Olive Pickle Company
Pickle Size: 3 feet tall
Drop Stats: The lighted pickle drops down the Mt. Olive 45-foot company flagpole into a redwood pickle tank.
Advice: Get there early, because the whole thing’s over at 7:05 p.m.
Can’t Make It? Watch a live stream of the drop at www.mtolivepickles.com.
Acorn Size: 1,200 pounds of copper and steel
Acorn History: Designed by sculptor David Benson to celebrate the city’s 1992 bicentennial and its nickname “The City of Oaks.”
Location: City Plaza
Other Activities: Over six dozen performances in 30 locations in downtown Raleigh
Drop Stats: The giant glowing acorn descends from lighted 45-foot towers, first at 7 p.m. for kids and again at midnight for adults.
Can’t Make It? Before and after the drop, the giant acorn is on permanent display in Moore Square.
Fleur de Lis Size: 8 feet high and 5 feet wide, descending a 25-foot pole
Location: Decatur Street Stage in front of Jackson Square
Previous Drop: A gumbo pot was dropped after Hurricane Katrina but replaced by the fleur de lis in 2009 to symbolize the city’s rebuilding.
Other Activities: Fireworks display over the Mighty Mississippi at midnight
Can’t Make It? Listen live on Magic 101.9 FM and WWL 870 AM and FM and WWL.com.
Drop Age: 3 years. The city used to drop a guitar but switched to a red musical note in 2012.
Location: 1st and Broadway in downtown Nashville
Music Note Size: 15 feet tall, descending 115 feet
2014 Special Guests: Lady Antebellum and Gavin DeGraw
Can’t Make It? Watch the live stream from 6:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. here.
Photo credits: Peach Drop by St. John Photographics; Pelican Drop courtesy of Pensacola Convention & Visitors Bureau; New Year’s Eve MoonPie Drop In Mobile Bay USA Bank Trust Building 2010 courtesy of Mobile Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau and Steve Timms; Pickle Drop courtesy of mtolivepickles.com; Acorn Drop from Wikipedia; Fleur de Lis taken by Rusty Costanza of The Times Picayune; and Guitar Drop courtesy of Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau.