Why watch a ball drop on New Year’s Eve when you could ring in 2020 with a falling bologna or oversized potato?
Dozens of cities across the U.S. grew tired of the Times Square celebrations decades ago, and started to find their own unique ways to celebrate. So if the NYC festivities aren’t your thing, read on for a look at seven other equally quirky events taking place on New Year’s Eve.
Pickle drop: Mount Olive, North Carolina
In Mount Olive, N.C., a three-foot pickle descends from a pole to celebrate the New Year. The North Carolina town is the home of Mt. Olive Pickle Company, Inc.
For those hoping to get a glimpse of a falling pickle, keep in mind the drop begins at 7 p.m. EST – not midnight.
“This has turned into a great event for families and children, as well as older adults,” Lynn Williams, a Mt. Olive Pickles spokesperson, said last year of the annual event. “It’s early, it’s quick and it’s just a lot of fun.”
Drag queen drop: Key West, Florida
There are multiple quirky ways to ring in the New Year in Key West, Fla. — but the dropping of Sushi, the drag queen, is likely the most unique. Sushi — aka Gary Marion — has been lowered in the shoe from the Bourbon St. Pub for 22 years.
Additionally, a conch shell will be dropped from Sloppy Joe’s Bar and a pirate wench will be lowered at the Schooner Wharf Bar.
PEEPS drop: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
At the conclusion of the annual PEEPSFEST in Bethlehem, Penn., a 400-pound lighted PEEPS Chick is lowered on New Year’s Eve to celebrate the holiday. The nearly 5-foot tall PEEPS replica will be lowered at 5:15 p.m. EST, following two day’s worth of New Year’s- and PEEPS-themed festivities.
Potato drop: Boise, Idaho
At midnight in Boise, Idaho, a giant potato — officially called the “GlowTato” — will descend from its perch about 200 feet in the air. Dylan Cline, who started the annual tradition in 2013, describes the larger-than-life spud as a “potato-shaped disco ball.”
The celebration features live music and family-friendly events — which, this year, includes a snowboarding exhibition and a performance from Toronto band Cowboy Junkies. The potato is hoisted at 6 p.m. to a rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner, before being lowered at midnight “to a world-class firework display.”
Flip-flop drop: Folly Beach, South Carolina
Folly Beach, S.C., is letting the shoe drop in 2019 — specifically, a giant pair of silver and red garland-adorned flip flops.
Charlotte Goodwin, the wife of Folly Beach Mayor Tim Goodwin, created the annual event in 2011. It has since attracted thousands of people, according to WCBD-TV.
“I just woke up one day and decided that we needed something for the people on Folly Beach,” she said.
After the shoes fall, a fireworks show will continue the celebration. The following day, residents can also participate in the annual “Bill Murray Look-a-Like Polar Plunge,” although it seems the town is pretty lax about what constitutes a lookalike.
Bologna drop: Lebanon, Pennsylvania
Lebanon always drops a bologna from the sky on New Year’s, seeing as the town has historically been associated with its own style of bologna. But this year, that bologna will be attached to a shiny disco ball that will be auctioned off after the festivities, according to Fox 43.
In the past, the town lowered just a 200-pound bologna, according to WHTM-TV, and once even attached it to a papier-mache “Bologna Ranger” mascot, which doesn’t seem to be making an appearance for 2019
Moon Pie Over Mobile: Mobile, Alabama
At midnight, a 600-pound electric MoonPie will descend from the sky in Mobile, Ala. And before that, the world’s largest edible MoonPie will be cut as part of the MoonPie Over Mobile celebration.
“As far as New Year’s Eve celebrations go, ours is definitely a unique item. Because of the originality, we receive a lot of national attention,” marketing director Kinnon Phillips has said.