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MoonPie, a Pickle and a Flea: Quirky New Year's Eve Drops in the South

New York City may have its New Year's Eve ball drop at One Times Square, but only in the South can you welcome in the new year with everything from a MoonPie to a pickle to a flea, among other assorted items.

Here's a quick look at the many quirky drops around the region.

It's a known fact that food plays an essential role in the South, and that sentiment extends into New Year's Eve drops:

  • Mobile, Ala., hosts MoonPie Over Mobile. The highlight, of course, is the 600-pound electric pie lowered from atop the 34th floor of the RSA Trustmark building to usher in the new year.

  • Come one, come all to Evergreen, Ala.'s Big Conecuh Sausage Drop. Unfortunately, the sausage itself is not dropped, but instead, a decorated Conecuh Sausage box, which is still a memorable way to usher in a new year.

  • The Peach Drop in Atlanta is the Southeast's largest New Year's Eve celebration. The giant peach makes its way down a tower of lights to signal the new year.

  • Celebrate the arrival of 2023 with a giant, illuminated shrimp at Amelia Island, Fla.'s New Year's Eve Shrimp Drop, hosted by Light Up Amelia and The City of Fernandina Beach.

  • A giant, lighted pineapple drop is the way Sarasota, Fla., welcomes in 2023.

  • Florida loves its oranges, especially for the new year. Celebrate in downtown Orlando as the ICONIC Orange Ball descends from the High Tide rooftop at midnight. Ring in 2023 in Miami, Fla., as "Big Orange," a 35-foot neon smiling orange, ascends the side of the InterContinental Hotel.

  • Sloppy Joe's in Key West, Fla., sponsors the Dropping of the Conch Shell to celebrate the start of a new year.

  • Honoring its annual blueberry festival, downtown Burgaw, North Carolina, puts on the Blueberry Drop, featuring a giant metal blueberry.

  • Mount Olive, N.C., is home to Mt. Olive Pickle Company. The company welcomes 2023 by lowering a glowing 3-foot pickle down a 45-foot flagpole.

  • Downtown Morehead City, N.C., hosts two Crab Pot Drops, one early in the evening for kids and one at midnight with a brightly lit crab pot.

  • Free apples, donuts and more, including an apple drop, presented by Main Street Martinsburg (WVa.) and Shepherd University Martinsburg Center.

Drops in some cities and towns highlight the destination's history or personality:

  • In Baton Rouge, La., the Red Stick Revelry includes a nine-foot lighted red stick in Town Square descending for the arrival of 2023.

  • New Orleans welcomes in the new year with an eight-foot-tall fleur-de-lis drop from the top of the Jax Brewery Company.

  • When the clock strikes midnight, the Hub City sign drops at the Hattiesburg (Miss.) NYE's Celebration for the start of the new year.

  • Greet 2023 with an Oyster Drop and more in Bay St. Louis, Miss.

  • Reelin' in the New Year Street Party at The Wharf in Orange Beach, Ala., features a Marlin Drop.

  • Nashville, Tenn.'s Big Bash honors its musical heritage with the midnight Music Note Drop.

  • The highlight of the family-friendly Early Innings at The New Year's Eve Bash at Battery Atlanta is a branded inflatable baseball drop.

  • As the site of the annual Geranium Festival, McDonough, Ga., rings in the new year with the Geranium Drop.

  • The Forsythia Ball Drop in Forsyth, Ga., welcomes the new year with a ball of forsythia flowers lowered from a tower.

  • Paying homage to its Bavarian atmosphere, Helen, Ga., hosts the Dropping of the Edelweiss to celebrate the arrival of 2023.

  • The New Year's Eve Beach Ball Drop at Pier Park in Panama City Beach, Fla., with its 800-pound LED lighted beach ball, holds two drops, allowing those who can't quite make it to midnight to enjoy an earlier celebration.

  • Greet 2023 when the "golf" ball drops from the top of the Harbour Town Lighthouse on Hilton Head Island, S.C.

  • A pair of large sparkly flip-flops descend on Folly Beach, S.C., signaling the start of the new year.

  • The Gold Nugget Drop, where a gold nugget is dropped into a pot of gold, in Marion, N.C., represents the state's gold history.

  • The Queen City crown lights up in Charlotte, N.C., at the CLT NYE celebration.

  • With the nickname "the City of Oaks," it makes sense that an acorn is lowered at First Night Raleigh (N.C.)

  • Mount Airy Museum of Regional History in Mt. Airy, N.C., aka "Mayberry," raises a Sheriff's Badge for the start of the new year.

  • Celebrating the beginning of the new year, the Roanoke (Va.) Star ascends at midnight at the Big Lick Downtown Countdown.

  • The Pony Island Horseshoe Drop on Chincoteague, Va., features a themed costume parade, followed by a lighted horseshoe drop for 2023.

And then there are the one-of-a-kind drops across the South:

  • In its second year, Piedmont, Ala.'s Squirrel Drop features Sparky the Squirrel, who paves the way for the new year.

  • The Possum Drop in Tallapoosa, Ga., features a kids' zone, live musical entertainment and more. However, the highlight of the weekend event is the lowering of a stuffed possum to welcome in 2023.

  • Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Orange Bowl Downtown Countdown features an illuminated anchor drop to greet the new year.

  • Perry, Ga., rings in the new year with the Perry Buzzard Drop.

  • Jasper the Flea in Eastover, N.C., brings in 2023 with the city's New Year's Eve Flea Drop.

  • The NYE Block Party in New Bern, N.C., hosted by New Bern Parks and Recreation, has a bear drop at midnight, with a cub drop for kids at 9 p.m.

  • Newport, N.C., welcomes 2023 with "Operation Pig Drop" at Newport Community Park.

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