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34 Bizarre Things Being Dropped on New Year’s Eve

Don’t live anywhere near New York City but still desperate to see something—anything—drop during the countdown to 2017?

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. A WOODEN FLEA // EASTOVER, NORTH CAROLINA

Why the town would create a 3-foot-tall, 30-pound wooden flea is a real head scratcher—unless you know that the town was once known as Flea Hill.

3. A MOON PIE // MOBILE, ALABAMA

Why a Moon Pie? 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

It descends from the top of Price Tower, a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building, and falls neatly into a 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

As home to both a Pat Vincenti Duck Decoy store and the Duck Decoy Museum, it makes perfect sense that Havre de Grace would drop a glowing duck decoy on New Year's Eve.

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 need to know that Lebanon bologna is kind of a big deal. That's why the city of Lebanon deems it important enough to ring in the new year with [PDF].

16. COAL // SHAMOKIN, PENNSYLVANIA

The little town of about 7000 drops a glowing chunk of coal from the community flagpole every year to celebrate its heritage.

17. AN ONION // ST. GEORGE'S, BERMUDA

St. George's is another town that celebrates local industry at the end of the year. They drop a glowing onion as a nod to Bermuda’s large onion export.

18. 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.

19. A LIVE OPOSSUM // BRASSTOWN, NORTH CAROLINA

In the self-proclaimed "Opossum Capital of the World," one of the little guys is lowered carefully at midnight, protected by a plexiglass cage. Though the critter is fed and released post-drop, PETA has been fighting the state to stop the live drop for several years. Looks like everything is proceeding this year as planned, though.

20. A PICKLE // MT. OLIVE, NORTH CAROLINA

If you love briny cucumbers, you'll appreciate the 3-foot pickle that drops down the flagpole at midnight Greenwich Mean Time. That’s 7 p.m. eastern. 

21. 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. Regular-sized squirrels can have a go at it, though: The acorn lives in Moore Square the other 364 days of the year and was created by sculptor David Benson to celebrate the City of Oaks.

22. YELLOW BREECHES // LOWER ALLEN TOWNSHIP, PENNSYLVANIA

Lower Allen Township wins for the quirkiest drop. The 5-foot-tall Bunyan-sized britches honor the local Yellow Breeches Creek—and for the kiddos, a pair of "baby breeches" is dropped at 10 p.m. instead of midnight [PDF].

23. A POTATO // BOISE, IDAHO

This year will be Boise's fourth year dropping a giant spud.

24. THE DEUCE OF CLUBS // SHOW LOW, ARIZONA

The city of Show Low got into the New Year’s object-drop game just a few years ago. According to city legend, the city was named when two feuding men decided to draw cards to decide who had to leave town. “If you show low, you win,” was the game, and the winner turned over the deuce of clubs.

25. 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.

26. 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.

27. A MUSIC NOTE // NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE

The Music Note dropped at midnight in Nashville is a nod to the town's "Music City" nickname.

28. A PELICAN // PENSACOLA, FLORIDA

Pensacola pays homage to its city mascot by letting one with a 20-foot wingspan come home to roost at midnight. It's not a real pelican, mind you, but an aluminum one studded with more than 2000 lights. 

29. 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 1085 individually controlled LED lights, this oinker took more than 100 hours to create. Wilbur, eat your heart out—this is definitely Some Pig.

What Goes Up...

What goes up, stays up ... at least when it comes to these objects that are raised instead of dropped.

30. AN ORANGE WEARING SUNGLASSES // MIAMI, FLORIDA

"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.

31. 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.

32. A GIANT HERSHEY'S KISS // HERSHEY, PENNSYLVANIA

The Kiss weighs 300 pounds and is seven feet tall before the "paper" plume is added. The banner brings the massive candy's height to 12 feet. 

33. THE QUEEN CHARLOTTE CROWN // CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

For those of us who aren’t well-schooled in city nicknames, Charlotte is sometimes known as the Queen City because Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was Queen consort of Great Britain when the city was incorporated. The crown is raised 25 feet in uptown Charlotte.

34. A TO-GO CUP // SAVANNAH, GEORGIA

This year marks the fourth annual "Up the Cup" celebration in Savannah. The cup is sponsored by Wet Willie's, an establishment that serves frozen alcoholic drinks in—you guessed it—a to-go cup.

Original image
Minh Hoang, Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0
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The 5 Most Valuable Pokemon Cards
Original image
Minh Hoang, Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0

As a teenager, Pokemon creator Satoshi Tajiri was so fond of collecting insects that classmates called him “Mr. Bug.” While it might not have been an affectionate label, Tajiri had the last laugh: His Pokemon video game, originally released for the Nintendo Game Boy in 1996, has become an enduring multimedia success, selling billions in games, merchandise, and phone apps.

The goal of collecting and pitting monsters against one another has been particularly appealing for trading card collectors, who have created an entire secondary market for the low-tech version of the game. First editions, misprints, and other characteristics all affect value. If you’re curious, take a look at the five most valuable Pokemon cards according to Heritage Auctions and other sources.

1. PIKACHU ILLUSTRATOR

A Pikachu Illustrator card
stephychu025, eBay

One of the earliest cards to come out of the Pokemon franchise was this promotional card of Pikachu that was given out to winners of an illustration contest in 1998. An estimated 20 to 39 copies were issued. In late 2016, Heritage Auctions sold one for a whopping $54,970. In 2017, an eBay seller was asking $100,000 for a card graded by professional authenticators to be in virtually perfect condition.

2. CHARIZARD

A first edition Charizard Pokemon card
bakemat_0, eBay

This dragon-esque creature was first seen in 1999. Nearly 20 years later, a perfect “10” graded card sold for $11,999.  

3. MASTER’S KEY PRIZE CARD

A Pokemon Master's Key card
ebirdman, eBay

Given out during a 2010 card championship in Japan, only 34 copies of the Master's Key Prize Card are thought to exist. The scarcity helps the cards fetch four figures when they're spotted on the open market.

4. PRE-RELEASE RAICHU

A Pokemon Raichu card
sken1851, eBay

Collectors love cards that were never intended for public distribution, and this Raichu card fits the bill. Although unconfirmed, Pokemon lore has it that product distributor Wizards of the Coast made just 10 of these Raichu cards for their employees and stamped “pre release” on the front. While it’s rarely offered for sale, collectors believe it can fetch up to $10,000.

5. POKEMON SNAP CARDS

A Pokemon Snap card
base_set_sales, eBay

In a bit of product synergy, Nintendo’s 1999 N64 game, Pokemon Snap, ran a promotion in which players could take a “candid” shot of Pokemon in the game and send it in to a Japanese magazine. Winners would have the image placed on a card. Due to their rarity, the Snaps have reportedly sold for over $8000.

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Radio Flyer
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Pop Culture
Tiny Star Wars Fans Can Now Cruise Around in Their Very Own Landspeeders
Original image
Radio Flyer

Some kids collect Hot Wheels, while others own model lightsabers and dream of driving Luke Skywalker’s Landspeeder through a galaxy far, far away. Soon, Mashable reports, these pint-sized Jedis-in-training can pilot their very own replicas of the fictional anti-gravity craft: an officially licensed, kid-sized Star Wars Landspeeder, coming in September from American toy company Radio Flyer.

The Landspeeder has an interactive dashboard with light-up buttons, and it plays sounds from the original Star Wars film. The two-seater doesn’t hover, exactly, but it can zoom across desert sands (or suburban sidewalks) at forward speeds of up to 5 mph, and go in reverse at 2 mph.

The vehicle's rechargeable battery allows for around five hours of drive time—just enough for tiny Star Wars fans to reenact their way through both the original 1977 movie and 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back. (Sorry, grown-up sci-fi nerds: The toy ride supports only up to 130 pounds, so you’ll have to settle for pretending your car is the Death Star.)

Radio Flyer’s Landspeeder will be sold at Toys “R” Us stores. It costs $500, and is available for pre-order online now.

Watch it in action below:

[h/t Mashable]

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