List of objects dropped on New Year's Eve

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On New Year's Eve, many localities in America mark the beginning of a year through the raising or lowering of an object. Many of these events are patterned off festivities that have been held at New York City's Times Square since 1908, where a large crystal ball is lowered down a pole atop One Times Square (beginning its descent at 11:59:00 p.m. local time, and concluding at midnight).[1] In turn, the event was inspired by the time balls used by ship navigators in the 19th century to calibrate their chronometers.

Whilst some of these events use a ball in imitation of Times Square, many "drops" utilize objects that represent an aspect of local culture, geography, or history. Ball drops are by far the most common in, but not exclusive to, the United States.

List of drops or raises by time zone and location[edit]

Atlantic Time Zone[edit]

North American Eastern Time Zone[edit]

Kentucky[edit]

Delaware[edit]

Florida[edit]

Note: The Florida Panhandle is in the Central Time Zone.


Georgia[edit]

Indiana[edit]

  • Indianapolis, Indiana: An Indy car will be dropped beginning in 2015.[36]
  • Kokomo, Indiana: An aluminum 70-pound Ball with 34,000 lights is dropped during The Kokomo Downtown Association New Year’s Eve Celebration.[37][38][39]
  • Muncie, Indiana: A ball is dropped.[40]
  • Vincennes, Indiana (near Terre Haute): The giant 18-foot, 500-pound steel-and-foam Watermelon Ball is raised 100 feet in the air during the 60-second countdown at midnight, then the replica releases 11 real locally-grown watermelons.[41][42][43][44]
  • Fort Wayne, Indiana: A Ball is Dropped as part of an event entitled The 'Fort Wayne New Year's Eve Ball Drop' which first started in 2016.[45] The original drop was a projection which prompted a group of engineers to volunteer their time in creating an 8 ft. in diameter, low-poly ball covered in translucent acrylic plastic, and lit with over 380,000 lumens of LEDs. As of 2017, the ball is hoisted 80 feet over the corner of Baker and Ewing St., and lowered by crane as the New Year rings in.[46]

Maine[edit]

  • Bangor, Maine: A beach ball covered in Christmas lights has been thrown off the top of a local restaurant since 2005.[47]
  • Eastport, Maine: A sardine is dropped in a nod to the area’s history in the herring fishing and canning industry. This is the second of two object drops in Eastport (see also "Atlantic Time Zone" above). Both objects were created by sculptor Bill Schaefer of East Machias.[2][48]
  • Kennebunk, Maine: A wild blueberry ball has dropped from the town's First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church on Main Street since 2015.[49]
  • Machias, Maine: A giant plastic lobster, holding a shovel and blueberries is lowered. It took place at Pat's Pizza, during 2016.

Maryland[edit]

Michigan[edit]

New Jersey[edit]

Nicole Polizzi dropped in Seaside Heights in 2011.

New York[edit]

New York holds many elaborate drops, particularly the ball drop at Times Square and at the Electric Tower in Buffalo. The state falls in second place for the most items dropped on New Year's Eve.

  • Binghamton, New York: A 6-foot lighted ball is dropped.[75]
  • Buffalo, New York: A lighted ball is dropped, at one time along with a Ford Edge automobile.[76] The Buffalo Ball Drop (formerly the 97 Rock Ball Drop) is the second largest in the country, with 40,000 in attendance during a typical year.[77] The Buffalo Ball Drop is held annually from the Electric Tower in Roosevelt Plaza.[78] It was nearly canceled in 2010 (due mainly to the effects of the late 2000s recession) before a last-minute sponsorship drive brought in the necessary funds to successfully carry out the festivities. The event is broadcast on both 97 Rock (through the radio) and by WKBW-TV (on television), usually in split screen so that the viewers may see both the Times Square, and Electric Tower ball drops simultaneously.
  • Brocton, New York: A 14' diameter ball is dropped from a height of 165' in front of the Saint Stephen's Hotel at the Arches in downtown Brockton. This is reportedly the highest & largest ball drop in the country & the second highest in the world, according to the Dunkirk Observer.[79]
  • Cheektowaga, New York: A ball is dropped during the day on New Year's Eve to offer an alternative for families.[80]
  • Hamburg, New York: A ball is dropped.[81] The ball drop was discontinued in 2018 because of dangerously cold temperatures.[82]
  • New York City (Times Square): The most famous ball dropped is a 11,875 pounds (5,386 kg) Waterford Crystal ball. The Times Square Ball was previously metal and, during the 1980s, an illuminated apple.[83] The ball used to be lit by halogen lamps, but LED has been used since 2008. In 2009 the ball became a permanent fixture year-round atop One Times Square.[84] Over a million people gather each year to see the famous drop, which lasts for one minute. For the 1999-2000 ball drop, there were two million in attendance.
  • New York City (rotating locations, Greenwood Heights for 2011): A giant lighted ukulele, dropped by "Sonic Uke" (a local ukulele playing duo), has been dropped each year in a different location since 2004–05.[85]
  • Niagara Falls, New York: A ten-foot Gibson Guitar is dropped from a specially designed 120-foot scaffold at the stroke of midnight at the Hard Rock Cafe. It draws an anticipated crowd of 15,000 to 20,000.[81][86][87]
  • North Tonawanda, New York: A ball is dropped as part of New Year's on the Canal.[81]
  • Orchard Park, New York: A ball is dropped.[88] The ball drop was discontinued in 2018 because of dangerously cold temperatures.[82]
  • Syracuse, New York: An orange ball was dropped for 2013 and 2014; the event was canceled after that and replaced with a midsummer celebration.[89]
  • Watertown, New York: A beach ball is dropped at noon New Year's Eve, which kicks off the city's season-long winter celebration, Snowtown USA.[90]
  • White Plains, New York: A ball drops from a crane on the corner of Main Street and Renaissance Square in downtown. The urban festival attracts 25,000 residents of Westchester County, New York.[91]
  • Wilson, New York: Two balls are dropped, one at 9 p.m. and the other at midnight.[88]

North Carolina[edit]

Raleigh drops its symbol, an acorn.
Mt. Olive Pickle Drop

Ohio[edit]

Ontario[edit]

Pennsylvania[edit]

Pennsylvania is the state where the most objects are dropped on New Year's Eve.[117]

Lebanon's 12 ft, 150 pound New Year's Eve bologna

South Carolina[edit]

Tennessee (Eastern)[edit]

Virginia[edit]

US Central Time Zone[edit]

Alabama[edit]

  • Mobile, Alabama: A 600-pound, lit Moon Pie is lowered from the RSA Tower in the "MoonPie Over Mobile" festivities sponsored by Chattanooga Bakery. The drop is televised locally by WKRG-TV and syndicated to Alabama television stations owned by Raycom Media (who is headquartered in the tower). Festivities also include a Mardi Gras-styled parade, as moon pies are a traditional "throw" at Mardi Gras events in Mobile.[167][168][169][170]
  • Fairhope, Alabama: A ball is dropped. The event was cancelled in 2010, but resumed in time to ring in 2011.[171][172]
  • Wetumpka, Alabama: A meteorite is dropped at the Old Courthouse at 11pm Central Time in honor of the meteorite that hit the River City. At the stroke of midnight, a big fireworks display takes place over the river.[173]
  • Dothan, Alabama: Nicknamed "The Peanut Capital of the World", this city has an annual "Nut Drop", where a rather phallic-shaped object is dropped.[174]

Arkansas[edit]

Florida Panhandle[edit]

Illinois[edit]

Indiana (southwest)[edit]

  • Tell City, Indiana: An apple with an arrow through it (symbolizing Tell City's namesake, William Tell) is dropped at City Hall Park.[188][189]

Iowa[edit]

Kansas[edit]

Louisiana[edit]

Mississippi[edit]

  • Columbus, Mississippi: An illuminated 10-foot wide by 10-foot tall lit aluminum ball is hoisted over College Street 100 feet high as part of the "Having a Ball Downtown Block Party". Festivities are broadcast live on WCBI.[194] No longer airs!

Missouri[edit]

  • Kansas City, Missouri: Michael "The Doughboy" Maslak, the longest-tenured improviser at the ComedyCity improv theater, is draped in lights and dropped by members of the troupe.[195]

Oklahoma[edit]

Tennessee (Central and Western)[edit]

Texas[edit]

  • Austin, Texas: Families in the Austin Woods neighborhood traditionally celebrate the new year with large illuminated new year's balls hung from trees, which are lowered at varying times during New Year's Eve. Downtown, a Lone Star was dropped until 2006, then replaced with a simple mirrored ball.[205]
  • Houston, Texas: A star representing the Lone Star State is raised at midnight.[206] There is also a Noon Ball Drop at the Children's Museum of Houston for families to celebrate New Year's Noon.[207]
  • McAllen, Texas: A giant mirrored ball descends just before midnight. The first orb for 2008 was six feet in diameter, but in 2009 McAllen's big bash was expanded to include a bigger crowd (10,000 attended), a bigger party space and the bigger "Texas-sized" ball used until 2014.[208] This event was last staged in 2014-2015 and the event was axed in 2015 due to budgetary problems. An attempt was made to resurrect the event for 2017-18, but failed because of a lack of permit.
  • San Antonio, Texas: The elevator on the Tower of the Americas is raised.

Wisconsin[edit]

  • Plymouth, Wisconsin: Plymouth drops an 80-pound decorated cheese wedge, the newest Wisconsin cheese, from a 100 ft. ladder truck in a tribute to the region's dairy industry and dairy products. The Plymouth Arts Center hosts the annual “Build Your Own New Year’s Party” next to the Creamery Building's parking lot where "The Big Cheese Drop" takes place.[209][210][211]
  • Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin: A carp (real but dead) caught by local fishers and weighing between 25 and 30 pounds is lowered. A carp was chosen to represent the area's fishing industry and because the carp is considered one of the luckiest fish in Chinese culture. The carp, nicknamed “Lucky”, is lowered onto a throne. Each “Lucky” has a tree planted where it is buried with a commemorative plaque listing the carp's name and year.[110][212]
  • Sister Bay, Wisconsin: A cherry-shaped ball is lowered at midnight.

US Mountain Time Zone[edit]

Arizona[edit]

The deuce of clubs is dropped in Show Low, Arizona.
  • Flagstaff, Arizona: A pine cone is dropped from the balcony of Weatherford hotel.[213][214][215]
  • Tempe, Arizona: An illuminated sunburst was dropped while the Fiesta Bowl Block Party and Parade was sponsored by Sunkist,[216][217][218][219] but replaced by a Giant Tortilla Chip when Tostitos Tortilla Chips took over the sponsorship from Sunkist. The party is 10 blocks long and four blocks wide with two fireworks shows (10 p.m. and midnight).[220]
  • Show Low, Arizona: A deuce of clubs (2♣) debuted in 2011–12. The card, which is the namesake of the main road through Show Low, is, according to legend the origin of the town's name (the town's founders allegedly derived the name "show low" from a game of poker where the winner showed a 2♣, the lowest card in the deck).[221]
  • Tucson, Arizona: Starting in 2014, a large replica Taco will be dropped from the roof of the Hotel Congress [222]
  • Prescott, Arizona: A boot has been dropped since 2010-2011.[223]

Idaho[edit]

  • Boise, Idaho: Since 2014, a giant potato was dropped from the US Bank building in downtown Boise.[224] For 2016, the drop moved to the Idaho State Capitol building, and the organizers successfully crowdfunded a new "Glowtato" with internal lighting.[225][226][227]
  • Emmett, Idaho: Since 2016, a cherry has been raised.[228]
  • Twin Falls, Idaho: Since 2002, a metal ball, bought at auction for $14 by Dave Woodhead—owner of the former bar Woody's, has been dropped from a pair of grain elevators. The low-budget event attracted a cult following: later editions also switched from a manual pulley to using a 1961 Ford Econoline truck to lower the ball. Following the lease of the bar to new owners, the event was placed on hiatus for 2014, but returned for 2015 in partnership with the new owners. Woodhead acknowledged the drop's inclusion on lists of New Year's Eve drops on Mental Floss and Wikipedia as a sign of notoriety for the event.[229][230]

New Mexico[edit]

Wyoming[edit]

US Pacific Time Zone[edit]

California[edit]

Oregon[edit]

  • Setting up for the first ball drop in La Grande, Oregon Dec 27, 2014
    La Grande, Oregon: A 4ft10inch ball that with 1500 lights is dropped. It was dropped for the first time on New Years Eve 2014/15. It is manually lowered down the 25 ft rooftop flag pole on the John Howard Building. La Grande Main Street's block party centers around the ball drop and closes Adams Ave for a few hours so the public can safely watch the family friendly event. Five burn barrels in the street are used to keep the public warm, and several downtown businesses stay open for the festivities.

See also[edit]

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External links[edit]