Holiday Time

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A MoonPie, a Pickle, a Horseshoe and More: Ringing in the New Year Southern-Style (December 2011)

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Published: December 2011
A MoonPie, a Pickle, a Horseshoe and More: Ringing in the New Year Southern-Style  

New York City has nothing on the South when it comes welcoming in the New Year.

While it may be home to the Times Square ball drop ,it’s here in the south will you find a MoonPie, a pelican, a pickle, an acorn, a horseshoe and other objects dropped to welcome in the New Year.

  • Celebrate the start of 2012 with a 3-D Sugar Cube drop at midnight in Sugar Land, Texas. The city’s New Year Eve’s Celebration on the Square features two celebrations: children’s 7 – 9 p.m., and adults’ 9:30 p.m. – 1 a.m. Both include street performers, entertainment and DJs. The children’s celebration ends with fireworks at 9 p.m. In addition to the 3-D Sugar Cube drop, fireworks conclude the adults’ celebration.

  • Who dat wearing the Saints helmet (and the LSU-colored diaper)? It’s Baby New Year, of course! At 6-feet, Baby New Year has a prime spot perched on the corner atop of Jax Brewery in New Orleans.The festivities in Jackson Square start at 9 p.m. Watch as the 8’ by 5’ two-dimensional fleur de lis descends down the 25-foot pole signaling the start of the New Year. Fireworks follow.

  • It’s not a true celebration in the south without MoonPies, and Mobile, Ala., has it covered. The city’s annual MoonPie Over Mobile pays its respects to the sweet treat with a 12-foot tall, 350-pound (lit) pie. It travels 317-feet in 60 seconds to welcome in the New Year. The evening festivities begin with a Mardi Gras-style parade at 7:30 p.m., followed by entertainment that features Three Dog Night.

  • It’s all about honoring music in Tennessee. In Memphis, after enjoying an evening of live entertainment on Beale Street (starts at 7 p.m.), you can head to the Hard Rock Café for the Guitar Drop at midnight. Nashville welcomes in the New Year with a 15-foot tall red music note known as the “Music Drop.” Their New Year’s Bash on Broadway includes live entertainment, featuring Lynyrd Skynyrd.

  • A peach isn’t the only item dropped to ring in the New Year in Georgia. While it is perhaps the best known drop (Underground Atlanta, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., family activities; 6 p.m. – 11:45 p.m., live entertainment at Peach Drop main stage), there’s more. In Tallapoosa, New Year’s Eve celebration kicks off at 4 p.m., with an opportunity to take a photo with the star of the evening, “Spencer the Possum.” The stuff animal, in a decorative ball, is lowered from one the town’s oldest buildings to start the New Year. The evening also includes live entertainment, activities for the entire family and more. In its first year, McDonough is hosting a Geranium Drop on the city’s square. Starting at 8:30 p.m., the event features vendor booths, live entertainment and more before the drop. In the city of Macon, it’s more than just a ball, it’s a Cherry Blossom ball. Would you really expect any less from the Cherry Blossom Capital of the World? The celebration starts a 9:30 p.m.with a DJ and entertainment. Fireworks conclude the evening.

  • Along Florida’s panhandle, you’ll find the Pelican Drop in downtown Pensacola. Featuring a 14-tall pelican with a 20-footwingspan welcomes in 2012. The evening begins at 5 p.m. with kids’ activities, live entertainment and much more. In Panama City Beach, you can join in the action at Pier Park for the 4th annual Beach Ball Drop. The festivities begin at 5:30 p.m., with family activities and entertainment, including a kids’ beach ball drop at 8 p.m. Afterwards the live entertainment continues until the countdown for the 800-pound glowing beach to make its 100-foot descent to 2012. Down in south Florida, not only is it time to celebrate the arrival of 2012, but also the 25th anniversary of the Big Orange drop. The 35-foot neon Big Orange starts its 400 foot ascent to the top of the InterContiental Miami around 6 p.m. Activities begin at 7 p.m., and include a Carnaval parade at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m.

  • North Carolina just might be home to some of the more interesting drops in the South. There’s the lowering of the opossum in Brasstown, the opossum capital of the world. Evening begins at 8:45 p.m., with live entertainment, followed by the celebration at 10 p.m. The town of Mt. Olive celebrates New Year’s Eve at 7 p.m., which is midnight Greenwich Mean Time. And of course, being Mt. Olive there’s a pickle involved. A lighted 3-foot pickle makes its way down a 45-foot flagpole to start 2012. The evening kicks off at 6 p.m. with live entertainment. Eastover hosts the “Flea Hill Flea Drop,” complete with live entertainment and concessions. It begins at 10 p.m. Living up to its nickname, “City of Oaks,” Raleigh’s drop is a giant acorn. The drop is a very important part of First Night Raleigh. The event itself kicks off at 2 p.m., with performances and activities at 28 indoor and outdoor venues in downtown.

  • Dress up or come as you are the the Pony Island Horseshoe Drop and Costume Promenade on Chincoteague Island, Va. The celebration begins at 10:30 and culminates with the drop of the sparkling horseshoe to welcome in 2012.


top photo: MoonPie, courtesy of Mobile CVB; bottom photo: courtesy of Downtown Pensacola

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