While New York is dropping a ball for its New Year’s Eve countdown, these local communities are more creative in how they welcome the coming year. Some towns like to drop food, others prefer animals. A few enterprising locales don’t drop anything at all, they raise it. Read on for the fun, clever, wacky and weird New Year’s Eve events from around the United States.

15+ Weird and Wacky New Years Eve Countdown Celebrations 

New Year celebration in Lehigh, Pennsylvania.

Photo courtesy of Discover Lehigh, PA

New York has the Crystal Ball Drop in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. Atlanta has the giant Peach Drop, which draws well over 100,000 people to downtown Atlanta. But if you are just watching these popular New Year’s Eve celebrations, you are missing out. Here are 15+ fun ways to ring in the New Year from around the country.

Brick Drop, LEGOLAND, FL. 

Even the kids love New Year’s Eve and the excitement of a New Year’s Eve ball drop, but at LEGOLAND Florida, the holiday is even more exciting. Here you’ll find one of the largest kids’ New Year’s Eve celebrations and a giant LEGO brick that drops 22 feet. The event includes a dance party and fireworks, all before bedtime.

Geranium Drop, McDonough, GA.

The New Year celebration in McDonough includes dancing and a free family-friendly party on the historic downtown McDonough Square. The event ends with a giant geranium drop. The geranium is made of lots and lots of lights. An all-new geranium is being constructed. It will debut for the 2017 drop.

Wrench Drop, Mechanicsburg, PA.

Named one of CNN’s 14 Quirky New Year’s Eve Celebrations, the wrench drop is a fun, family-friendly event that started as an Eagle Scout project. Be sure to get your commemorative wrench set sold by the Boy Scouts during the festivities – start the New Year prepared.


New Year Celebration – Food Drops

Food is central to any celebration, and New Year celebrations are no different with these funky food drops.

Tired of watching the Times Square New Year's Eve ball drop on television? Get off the couch and head to one of these weird and wacky New Year's Eve celebrations around the USA.

Photo Courtesy of Alabama Tourism

Moon Pie Drop, Mobile, AL.

Start your New Year’s Eve right by enjoying a piece of the world’s largest edible MoonPie. The festivities continue with a parade, a little football, live music and the dropping of a 600 pound electric MoonPie!

PEEPS® Chick Drop, Bethlehem, PA.

With two days of events, nationwide fans gather at the Annual PEEPSFEST® to ring in the New Year with Pennsylvania’s famous marshmallow treat. The festival features a customized PEEPS® breakfast accompanied by mascots, 5K run, candy-inspired art and magicians performing marshmallow tricks. It all culminates in the PEEPS® Chick Drop.

Pickle Drop, Dillsburg, PA.

This party has double the fun with two pickle drops to celebrate the town’s Irish founders. In conjunction with Ireland’s midnight, the Lil’ Dill drops at 7 p.m. for an early ring into the New Year. Hang out until midnight to meet Mr. Pickle, the 6-foot-tall, papier-mâché creation that drops to ring in the New Year with a fireworks finale. Be sure to sample some of the Dillsburg delicacies like chocolate-covered pickles, deep-fried pickles and pickle soup.

Bologna Drop, Lebanon, PA.

Food is a popular New Years Eve drop. In Lebanon, the town drops a 16-foot, 150 pound piece of Bologna. The town pairs the popular meat snack drop with free musical concerts.

Chile Drop, Albuquerque, NM.

Nob Hill is one of Albuquerque’s quirkiest neighborhoods. Sip some craft beer from local Kaktus Brewing Company while enjoying live jazz music, dance performances and of course, the popular ‘chile drop’ at midnight. This year is Nob Hill’s 100th anniversary, so it should be especially fun.

New Year’s Eve Events – Animal Drops

Let’s hope PETA doesn’t get wind of this. Several communities drop animals – or at least their likeness.

Giant Crab Drop, Hampton, VA.

All the drops around the country signify something special about their community. Hampton is along the Chesapeake Bay, and the site of the first canned crab packing plant, McMenamin Crab. So, of course, Hampton has a giant crab drop. It is part of the Downtown Hampton Block Party series. 

Kiss the carps during the New Years celebration in Prairie due Chien, WI

In Praire du Chien, WI it’s good luck to kiss the carp. On New Years Eve the have the Droppin of the Carp. Photo Courtesy Carp Fest

Droppin’ of the Carp, Prairie du Chein, WI.

In Prairie du Chein, it takes a whole week to celebrate New Years and the whole town gets involved. There’s a coloring contest, bowling, a kids Early Carp Party and then the highlight, the dropping of a frozen carp – but not before the town gets a chance to kiss it for good luck.

The Buzzard Drop, Perry, GA.

Bob the Buzzard was somewhere North of the Mason-Dixon Line, freezing his “feathers” off, when he suddenly decided there had to be a better life. He settled in Perry, Ga. and now Bob and his friends are as much a part of the landscape in Perry as the Clock Tower at the Fairgrounds. In honor of the Buzzard’s return, Perry residents gather each New Year’s Eve to celebrate their brave trek with a New Year celebration and Buzzard drop.

Possum Drop, Tallapoosa, GA.

About 45 minutes west of Atlanta on I-20 you’ll find the town of Talapoosa, Ga., formally known as Possum Snout. Talapoosa rings in the New Year by dropping a stuffed possum named Spencer. Come early, there is a full day of activities including a Possum Day Parade, Kids Zone, live bands, concessions and even a Possum King and Queen!

Ring in the New Year with these weird and wacky New Year's Eve ball drops.

Photo credit: Pixabay

New Years Eve Events – Raising

Not all towns drop something on New Year’s Eve. These towns actually RAISE something to ring in the New Year.

Balloon Launch, Albuquerque, NM.

While the Nob Hill neighborhood is dropping its chile to ring in the New Year, Albuquerque also will be raising something. To ring in 2017, the city is lifting a hot air balloon into the air. Prior to the event, there will be music, food trucks and ice skating in Civic Plaza. Best of all, it’s free.

Hershey Kiss Raise, Hershey, PA.

Celebrate sweet beginnings in Hershey, PA where the community lifts a seven-foot tall, 300-pound Hershey’s® Kiss into the night sky, followed by fireworks. The Hershey Kiss Raise, ranked the second-best family-friendly New Year’s Eve event by USA Today Travel, so get there early for a good spot.

Chi-Town Rising, Chicago, IL.

Chicago has always been a city on the rise and the city’s New Year celebration involves an outdoor festival that culminates with the rising of a six-pointed Chicago star at midnight. The star is 70’6” feet tip-to-tip. It ascends 360 feet into the night sky to welcome in the New Year.

Float Fairies, Lincoln City, OR.

This annual ball drop is a little different than most. Lincoln City is a coastal town in Oregon best known for a program that scatters hand made glass floats along the beaches for visitors to pick up and keep. On New Year’s Eve, 100 hand-made glass balls are dropped on the beaches. Finding one of these is definitely a lucky way to start the New Year.

What is the wackiest New Year celebration you have seen? Share with us in the comment section below.