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MoonPie, a Pickle and a Flea: Quirky New Year's Eve Drops Throughout 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:

  • Greet 2024 with an Oyster Drop and more in Bay St. Louis, Miss.

  • 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. 

  • Celebrate the arrival of 2024 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

  • giant lighted pineapple drop is the way Sarasota, Fla., welcomes in 2024

  • Florida loves its oranges, especially for the new year. Ring in 2024 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 2024 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.

  • All about the apple with an apple rise in Hendersonville, N.C. (home to the NC Apple Festival, Labor Day weekend),  apple drop in Winchester, Va. (home to the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival, Apr. 26 - May 5, 2024) and an apple drop in Martinsburg, WVa. (home the Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival, Oct. 17 - 24, 2024) signals the start of 2024.

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 2024. 

  • 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, Hattiesburg, Miss.'s Hub City sign drops during Midnight on Front Street for the start of the new year.

  • Greet 2024 with an Oyster Drop and more in Bay St. Louis, Miss.

  • Pascagoula, Miss., welcomes 2024 with a new tradition - the Pascagoula Anchor Drop.

  • 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.

  • 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 2024's arrival.

  • At midnight, a brightly lit shamrock descends from atop the historic Fred Roberts building during Dublin, Ga.'s New Year's Eve Shamrock Drop.

  • 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 2024 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. 

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

  • 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.

  • Kure Beach, N.C.'s New Year's Celebration includes the dropping of a giant beach ball, followed by fireworks.

  • 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 2024.

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 2024.

  • Perry (Ga.) Buzzard Drop offers a Kiddie Countdown for those who can't make it to midnight, live music, food vendors and more. Celebrate 2024's arrival as the buzzard is lowered from his perch.

  • Tifton, Ga., welcomes 2024 with "Matt the Gnat" with the city's Gnat Drop. Festivities leading up to midnight include live entertainment, food vendors and more.

  • The Unadilla, Ga., Hog Drop includes a barbecue competition, racing pigs and other activities. The city celebrates the arrival of 2024 with the "hog drop," fireworks and more.

  • The Forsythia Ball Drop in Forsyth, Ga., features a ball decorated with forsythia flowers that descend to ring in 2024. Enjoy activities such as a photo booth, games, a DJ and more.

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

  • Jasper the Flea in Eastover, N.C., brings in 2024 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., starts 2024 with a Pig Drop at their New Year's Eve Celebration Pig Drop at Newport Community Park.


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