Think of New Year’s Eve celebrations and the famous ball drop in New York’s Times Square probably comes to mind. The souped-up spectacle garners millions of viewers around the world as the 12,000-pound ball descends to signal midnight in the eastern United States.
But that’s far from the only “drop” happening on New Year’s Eve every year. Cities and towns across the U.S. can get pretty creative with the objects they drop (or raise) to ring in the new year.
Some of the most unique drops range from oversized foods – an orange, a potato and a Hershey’s Kiss – to other random objects, like a giant acorn and a wrench.
Here are some of the most unique New Year’s Eve celebrations around the U.S., and where they’re happening.
A Florida orange and a Georgia peach
On top of the boat parties and busy clubs that normally take over Miami on New Year’s Eve, the city has its own take on the ball-drop, one that’s fitting for Florida. A 30-foot, 2,000-pound neon sign depicting a sunglass-wearing orange will be raised to ring in 2022.
Atlanta does something similar. A nod to Georgia’s nickname as the Peach State, the city is set to drop a giant peach on New Year’s Eve.
In Pennsylvania, a giant candy, bologna and a wrench
Pennsylvania in particular is home to some of the most unique New Year’s Eve drops.
Have you ever seen a 400-pound Peep? That’s what they drop in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the home of the candy company that makes the fluffy sweets.
It’s bologna that they drop in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. At one point, the city celebrated with a 12-foot, 200-pound, custom-made piece of bologna, but the size has been scaled back in recent years, per the Lebanon Daily News, part of the USA TODAY Network. The bologna will be attached to a disco ball this year, reports LebTown.
Sticking with the food theme, Hershey, Pennsylvania, raises – you guessed it – a giant Hershey’s Kiss. A 300-pound aluminum replica of the famous chocolate candy is raised at midnight each year to ring in the new year.
Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, holds a wrench drop.
A squirrel’s dream, the giant acorn
A 10-foot-tall, 1,250-pound acorn made out of copper and steel is dropped in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The New Year’s Eve tradition has been in practice for more than 20 years in North Carolina’s capital city.
The chili drop
Las Cruces, New Mexico, drops an oversized, illuminated chili pepper.
This year, organizers are letting people vote on which color the big pepper will turn once the clock strikes midnight: red or green.
A giant spud
In true Idaho fashion, Boise drops a large potato.
This year’s celebration, called the Idaho Potato Drop, is complete with musical artists and a ski and snowboard exhibition for “spec-taters” to enjoy.
Beach ball, anyone?
An 800-pound, illuminated beach ball will be dropped in Panama City Beach, Florida, to bring in 2022. And it’s dropped from a tower 10 feet taller than the one in Times Square, brags the city’s website.
A cherry drop in the cherry capital
In the so-called “cherry capital of the world” – Traverse City, Michigan – residents celebrate the only way they know how: with a giant cherry.
The annual cherry drop has raised nearly $110,000 to date for local nonprofits, organizers say.
Follow Jay Cannon of USA TODAY on Twitter: @JayTCannon