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 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.
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.