Seeing the iconic New Year’s Eve drop in Times Square might be on your bucket list, but chances are, in a small town nearby, there’s a different type of December 31 celebration happening. Spoiler alert: It has to do with food. And we don't mean eating traditional food for good luck at the start of a shiny-new 365 days, but dropping food to pay tribute to the rich history of these towns and their cultures.
From a pickle that drops in North Carolina to a taco that gets lowered in Arizona, here are some the craziest food-inspired items that have been dropped in the name of a new lap around the sun:
A few years ago, Tucson, Arizona swapped its traditional disco ball for a 15-foot-wide, 8-foot-tall taco made by local crafters and dropped it during the Hotel Congress NYE Block Party. Though this taco extravaganza (not an annual event) might sound like what dreams are made of, unfortunately the taco wasn’t quite edible; it was the creation of artist Joe Pagac. The ingredients? While the outer shell was made out of wood and metal, the fillings consisted of shredded table cloths for lettuce and Styrofoam painted red for the tomatoes. Pagac didn’t reveal how he made the shredded beef, but he did confess he originally considered creating a Sonoran hot dog, but wanted something that had more of the Tucson flair. Best part of it all? The taco was lowered into a giant, wooden, weather-protected hand.
A gigantic mushroom
Another food-oriented NYE party in Pennsylvania? Behold the Mushroom Drop in Kennett Square, also known as the Mushroom Capital of the World. Each year, the town creates an 8-foot, 500-pound ‘shroom that’s not only massive, but also sparkling—and it's hoisted up by 8 p.m. for all of the town to see.
Photo courtesy of Instagram/@seetheworldincolor
A giant peach
If you’ve ever visited the sweet Southern state of Georgia, you've likely spotted at least a dozen peaches: they’re on the highway signs, the license plates and basically everywhere. So it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that Atlanta hosts an annual Peach Drop, launching another 52 weeks of fuzzy-fruit adventures. Reminiscent of the New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square, The Peach Drop features musical performances and commentary before the orange ball is hoisted above Underground Atlanta. This year will mark the 27th Peach Drop, and while what drops isn’t a real fruit, locals find the event just peachy.
A huge wedge of cheese
If there's nothing you love more than cheese, you might want to make a trip to Wisconsin ASAP. As a state ripe with farms and plenty of locally-crafted cheese, it’s only natural it would celebrate a New Year by dropping the star export. This year, the Plymouth Arts Center in Plymouth will celebrate its 10th New Year’s Eve Celebration by dropping what's called "The Big Cheese." For families who want to raise another generation of cheese-philes, Sartori Company donated free regular-sized wedges to the first 250 families who stop by. And for the adults who stay past 12? Of course, there are complimentary cheese hors d'oeuvres served with those flutes of champs.
A massive moon pie
Many Southerners have memories of grabbing a Moon Pie for an afternoon snack after hopping off the school bus, so this NYE celebration causes major flashbacks. Even though the Moon Pie was created in Chattanooga, Tennessee, it’s Mobile, Alabama that creates a giant replica to lower at the annual New Year’s Eve Moon Pie drop. It’s no joke either: This 12-foot faux dessert is electronic and provides a light show as it descends down the 34-story RSA Trustmark Building. So why does Mobile do this? The drop kicks off the carnival season, in which Moon Pies are often placed on Mardi Gras floats. Still confused? Mobile actually celebrated Mardi Gras ten years before New Orleans made it infamous.
An enormous cookie
It was 78 years ago when Ruth Wakefield, a restaurateur in Whitman, Massachussetts, created a dessert that would one day become a household name: the Toll House Cookie. Her original concoction consisted of cutting up a semi-sweet candy bar from Nestle and adding smashed butterscotch to make the signature cookies. That’s why, on NYE, the Whitman Public Library celebrates this sweet history by dropping a giant six-foot cookie created by local students.
A bag of chips
Ever get that pit in your stomach when you reach into your bag of chips, only to realize you ate the last bite? You might want to feast your eyes on this awesome creation: Lewistown, Pennsylvania drops a six-by-nine-foot, 200-pound bag of Hartley’s Potato Chips to celebrate New Year’s. The company was created in Lewistown in 1935 and has been the go-to snack in the town ever since. While the bag doesn’t have real chips (drat!), the event is made for families, with fireworks, live performers and of course, horse and wagon rides.
Mount Olive, North Carolina has been producing pickle jars since 1926, so on NYE you can probably guess what drops from the sky. But it's not just a measly pickle: It's a 3-foot version that gets lowered from a 45-foot flagpole downtown. Besides being the biggest pickle you ever did see, the sparkling creation lowers into a preserved redwood pickle tank not at midnight, but at 7 p.m. EST. Why? That’s midnight GMT, and it's a good excuse to wrap up this family-friendly event before the real NYE festivities begin.
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