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12 Weird Things That Get Dropped in Pennsylvania on New Year’s Eve

Watch out for that giant Yuengling, yo!


Photo elements via iStock

Photo elements via iStock

As a lifelong resident of this great commonwealth of ours, I have to admit I wasn’t much surprised to discover that Pennsylvania leads the nation — and, so far as I have any reason to believe, the universe — in Weird Stuff That Gets Dropped From the Sky on New Year’s Eve. Nobody parties like partisans of the ruffed grouse, amirite?

Just in case this year you get a hankering to get up off the couch and watch something other than that boring ol’ ball in Times Square, you can dress up and watch the New Year’s Eve fireworks on the Delaware waterfront. Then again, should you yearn to celebrate in less thronged environs, here’s the lowdown on some of our state’s, uh, really unique New Year’s Eve spectacles.

Kennett Square: A Giant Mushroom

Talk about a fungus among us! The Mushroom Capital of the World celebrates its annual glitter-light-y Mushroom Drop this year.

Harrisburg: A Giant Strawberry

Alas, a while back, the iconic giant strawberry dropped on the Eve at Strawberry Square in downtown H-burg shattered to pieces. Happily, it’s been replaced by a shiny new version that cost a cool $8,500. The new berry is “more dramatic,” according to the president of the development firm that helped pay for it, though it’s still out of season.

Bethlehem: A Giant Marshmallow Peep

Oh little town of … uh, Peepsfest, a two-day celebration at the SteelStacks in this old mill town that culminates in the descent (at a family-friendly 5:15 p.m.) of a four-and-a-half-foot-tall replica of a bright marshmallow chicken that—oooohh!—now changes colors.

Lebanon: A Giant Lebanon Bologna

Godshall’s Quality Meats, maker of Weaver’s Lebanon Bologna (a delicacy that originated right here in PA, not in the Levant), donates a 12-foot-long, 200-pound sausage for this town’s annual New Year’s Eve event; afterward, the meat is distributed to charities.

Mechanicsburg: A Giant Wrench

Really, what else would they drop? This yearly event grew out of an Eagle Scout project.

Lancaster: A Red Rose, and York: A White Rose

Because why the hell shouldn’t we still be commemorating the Tudors’ 15th-century dynastic civil mayhem here in America in 2018? House of Lancaster, over here; House of York, here.

Hershey: A Giant Hershey’s Kiss

How giant? Seven feet tall (12 if you count the paper plume). Made of chocolate? Nah. And they raise it instead of dropping it. Still, impressive.

Lower Allen Township: Pants

Also tall. Five stories tall. Why pants? Because Yellow Breeches Creek runs through the park where the event is held.

Pittsburgh: A Giant Ball

It’s green because it’s recycled. And they raise it instead of lowering it, because they’re Pittsburgh, and Pittsburgh just has to be Pittsburgh.

Pottsville: A Giant Beer Bottle

Of course. Pottsville is the home of Yuengling, a giant bottle (okay, a facsimile of a bottle) of which gets hoisted up (because if you drop a bottle, it breaks) to mark the arrival of the New Year.

Red Lion: A Giant Cigar

To commemorate its cigar-making heritage, Red Lion ushers in the New Year by hoisting a giant cigar held aloft by, duh, a red lion. As Freud famously said, or maybe didn’t say, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. And Happy 2020 to all , wherever you may be!