Young Thais are drawn by the big city lifestyle
Drawing more than one million visitors in person and one billion viewers on TV, New York City’s Times Square ball drop is one of the most watched events in the world.
But many cities across the United States prefer to put their own spin on the now traditional event. From pinecones to pineapples, these regions lower their own oversized symbols as the last seconds of the old year tick away.
Pinecone Drop, Flagstaff, Arizona
Arizona is more likely to be associated with cactus than pinecones, but Flagstaff, in the northern part of the state, has the largest Ponderosa Pine forest in the continental United States. The 5ft-by-7ft gold and silver aluminium pinecone has dropped from the 112-year-old Weatherford Hotel since 1999.
Great Sardine and Maple Leaf Drop, Eastport, Maine
The only place in America where the New Year is rung in twice in one night, the easternmost city in the United States drops a 4ft-wide maple leaf at 11 pm to celebrate the New Year in neighbouring New Brunswick, Canada, and drops an 8ft-long sardine at midnight to ring in their own New Year, commemorating Eastport’s longstanding sardine canning industry.
Moon Pie Drop, Mobile, Alabama
Though moon pies are made in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Mobile has had a love affair with the marshmallow-filled treats since they were first thrown in Mardi Gras celebrations in 1956. The 12ft-tall moon pie replica has only been dropping on New Year’s Eve since 2008, but the event already has its very own commemorative song.
Walleye Drop, Lake Clinton, Ohio
A 20ft, 600-pound walleye fish has made an appearance in this Lake Erie town since 1996. Residents hold an entire outdoor celebration (where the temperatures can often be well below freezing) with walleye chowder, sandwiches and even walleye-flavoured popcorn.
Pineapple Drop, Honolulu, Hawaii
The last time zone in the US to leave the old year behind, Hawaii sends it off in style by lowering a 200-pound papier-mâché pineapple from the 10-storey Kahala Resort in Oahu. The event can be seen from the beach or the hotel.