7 weird items that will drop New Year's Eve (not the Times Square ball)

7 weird items that will drop New Year's Eve (not the Times Square ball)
The New Year's Eve ball is prepared for its big moment in New York's Times Square. The 11,875-pound geodesic sphere, covered by 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles, will descend a 130-foot pole to mark the stroke of midnight. (John Minchillo / Associated Press)

The Times Square ball won't be the only that item that will be dropping from high perches around the country for the New Year's Eve countdown. The illuminated crystal ball that descends in New York City a minute before midnight has become such a famous tradition that cities around the country have created their own unique takes on the ritual.

Here is a sampling of odd-ball drops that will ring in the New Year:


1) Live possum

Brasstown, N.C., gently lowers a caged possum at midnight. The critter is then set free.

2) MoonPie

Mobile, Ala., drops a 12-foot electronic MoonPie logo made of plastic and LED lights from the 34-story RSA Trustmark building. Why wait for Mardi Gras to enjoy the confection?

3) Peach

Atlanta lowers an  800-pound peach made of fiberglass and foam from a 138-foot tower of lights. More than 170,000 people are expected to cheer the fruit's descent.

4) Peep

Although Easter is usually the busy time of year for Peeps, Bethlehem, Pa., where the marshmallow confection is made, will drop a giant Peep from the top of the manufacturer's headquarters.

5) Chunk of cheese

In a salute to Wisconsin's dairy industry, the city of Plymouth will drop a decorated metal cheese wedge from a truck ladder raised 100 feet high, according to the Plymouth Arts Center.

6) Beach ball

What better way to celebrate in Panama City, Fla., than with a beach ball?  An 800-pound LED-lighted beach ball will descend nearly 100 feet in this seaside city.

7) Boot

In Prescott, Ariz., residents will watch an illuminated 6-foot cowboy boot being lowered from a fire engine ladder for the third year.


The original New Year's Eve ball

The Times Square ball will descend a 130-foot pole to the cheers of hundreds of thousands of revelers in a tradition that has come to symbolize the nation's New Year moment. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who grew up in the Bronx, will press the button to begin the ball drop from atop the 1 Times Square building. 

"There is a real emotional connection" with the dropping ball, said Jeffrey Straus, president of Countdown Entertainment, an organizer of Times Square New Year's Eve. "It's a shared moment. So when you think about all the drops, that's a big sign of our success."


Twitter: @saba_h