Don’t live anywhere near New York City but still desperate to see something—anything—drop during the countdown to 2018?
We can help. (Well, we can help some of you. Some of you might have to go on a road trip.) Check out these places that have put their own twists on the rather odd tradition of hoisting a giant object up in the air to celebrate the beginning of a new year.
1. A GIANT PEEP // BETHLEHEM, PENNSYLVANIA
Peeps’s parent company, Just Born, calls the eastern Pennsylvania town home, which is why Bethlehem drops a 4.5-foot tall, 85-pound, illuminated Peep to mark the new year. Though Peeps come in shapes to suit every holiday these days, the drop is done with a traditional chick that flashes different colors at midnight.
2. AN OVERSIZED FLEA // EASTOVER, NORTH CAROLINA
3. A MOONPIE // MOBILE, ALABAMA
Why a MoonPie? According to PR Newswire, the tasty snack cake is the “favored throw” at the Mardi Gras parade (never mind that whole bead thing), which originated in Mobile. Sadly, the 600-pound Moon Pie is electronic, not edible.
4. A REAL (DEAD) CARP // PRAIRIE DU CHIEN, WISCONSIN
Most carp don’t see 15 seconds of fame, let alone 15 minutes. But every year in Prairie du Chien, Lucky the Carp is the center of attention when he’s lowered onto a throne to celebrate the new year. It’s the culmination of a week of activities, including hanging carp ornaments on a pine tree, the Carp Plunge (Prairie du Chien's version of a Polar Bear Plunge) and busting open a carp piñata. As far as we know, the piñata contains candy, not carp.
5. AN OLIVE // BARTLESVILLE, OKLAHOMA
The brightly lit olive descends from the top of Price Tower, a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building, and falls neatly into an oversized martini glass.
6. A BEACH BALL // PANAMA CITY BEACH, FLORIDA
Paying homage to the tourist industry that keeps the town hopping, Panama City Beach drops an 800-pound beach ball at midnight. Those who prefer beach balls of the non-deadly variety can attend the children’s drop at 8:30 p.m., where more than 10,000 inflatable balls are released from overhead nets.
7. A SARDINE // EASTPORT, MAINE
The area has sardine fishing and canning roots, but Eastport also drops a Maple Leaf as a friendly gesture to their Canadian neighbors across the bay.
8. A WRENCH // MECHANICSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA
Get it? Mechanicsburg?
9. A DUCK DECOY // HAVRE DE GRACE, MARYLAND
10. A PEACH // ATLANTA, GEORGIA
Go figure. If you prefer your crowd of revelers to be large on New Year's Eve, Atlanta is the place to be: the Peach Drop is the largest New Year's Eve celebration in the southeast.
11. A PINECONE // FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA
In case you’re missing the connection, here’s a bit of trivia for you: Flagstaff sits in one of the largest Ponderosa Pine forests in the world. And the town has come a long way from the garbage can with pinecones glued on it that was used during the drop's inaugural year in 1999—see for yourself:
12. AN APPLE // MANHATTAN, KANSAS
Paying homage to their “Little Apple” nickname, nearly 10,000 residents and visitors gather every year to watch the city drop a brightly-lit Red Delicious.
13. A CHUNK OF CHEESE // PLYMOUTH, WISCONSIN
It's no doubt got some competition, but Plymouth proudly proclaims itself the Cheese Capital of the World, which is why it drops a large chunk of Sartori cheese to welcome the new year.
14. A DRAG QUEEN IN A RED HIGH HEEL // KEY WEST, FLORIDA
Her name is Sushi (the drag queen, not the stiletto). But Sushi is just one of the many midnight drop options in Key West: They also drop a 6-foot conch shell at Sloppy Joe's and a pirate wench at the Schooner Wharf Bar.
15. 200 POUNDS OF BOLOGNA // LEBANON, PENNSYLVANIA
If you're a cured meat connoisseur, you know that Lebanon bologna is kind of a big deal.
16. MARSHALL THE MUSKRAT // PRINCESS ANNE, MARYLAND
As if dropping a giant rodent wasn’t unique enough, Princess Anne has decked the stuffed semiaquatic rodent out in a top hat and bow tie. No, Princess Anne isn’t the hometown of the Captain and Tennille; the humble muskrat has been a target for trappers in the area since humans first inhabited it.
17. A PICKLE // MT. OLIVE, NORTH CAROLINA
If you love briny cucumbers, you'll appreciate the 3-foot pickle that drops down the flagpole at 7 p.m. EST.
18. AN ACORN // RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
It would take a Godzilla-like squirrel to carry away this 10-foot-tall nut made of 1250 pounds of copper and steel, which was created by sculptor David Benson to celebrate the City of Oaks.
19. A POTATO // BOISE, IDAHO
This year will be Boise's fifth year dropping a giant spud.
20. A KEY // FREDERICK, MARYLAND
In 2012, the city of Frederick began the tradition of dropping a 5-foot by 2.5-foot wooden key from a suspension bridge. Why a key? To honor one of its most famous sons, of course—The Star-Spangled Banner lyricist Francis Scott Key.
21. A BUNCH OF GRAPES // TEMECULA, CALIFORNIA
There's more than one way to toast the new year. Temecula, which is in the heart of California Wine Country, does it with a 5-foot-by-8-foot bunch of grapes made of 36 illuminated spheres and 48 sequined balls.
22. A MUSIC NOTE // NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE
The Music Note dropped at midnight in Nashville is a nod to the town's "Music City" nickname.
23. A HOG // FAYETTEVILLE, ARKANSAS
"Last Night Fayetteville" is considered one of the top 10 New Year's Eve celebrations in the U.S.—and part of that accolade is due to the Hog Drop. Made with more than 1000 individually controlled LED lights, this oinker took more than 100 hours to create. Wilbur, eat your heart out—this is definitely Some Pig.
24. AN ORANGE WEARING SUNGLASSES // MIAMI, FLORIDA
What goes up, stays up ... at least when it comes to these objects, which are raised instead of dropped. "Big Orange" is a 35-foot neon orange that climbs 400 feet up the side of the InterContinental Hotel in Miami. And if that's not enough for you, there's also Pitbull.
25. A WATERMELON BALL // VINCENNES, INDIANA
When it gets to the top, the ball opens to release 12 real watermelons, making a mess that would make Gallagher proud in the splash zone below.