The Ten Weirdest New Year's Eve Ball Drops: Pickles, Peeps, and Fish

Tonight, millions of people around the world will gather around their televisions to see a big lighted ball drop from One Times Square in New York City at midnight. Since 1907, the New Year's Eve ball has dropped at 11:59 p.m., traveling 77 feet in 60 seconds to signify the start of another year.

Though the most famous celebration, the Times Square ball is not the only item to drop at New Year's Eve. Many cities have their own unique celebrations, many of them representing foods they're famous for. Miami, for instance, drops an orange at midnight, while Georgia drops a peach. In fact in the 1980s the famous Times Square ball was replaced by an apple (to mixed reviews).

While those are pretty normal ways to celebrate the new year and home town spirit, some cities get a little carried away and take a trip to crazy-town this time of year. Forget apples and oranges -- here are the ten weirdest food-related things to drop on New Year's Eve.

10. Bermuda Onion
In St. George Bermuda, a paper-mache Bermuda onion covered in Christmas lights is dropped at midnight.

9. Conch and Sushi (Sort Of)
In Key West, a giant queen conch will be dropped atop Sloppy Joe's Bar on Duval Street for the 20th time. A few blocks away, Key West's famous drag queen Miss Sushi gets lowered from a giant stiletto pump.

8. Sardine
In Eastport, Maine,a sardine is dropped in a nod to the area's history in the herring fishing and canning industry. The eight-foot sardine, created by sculptor Bill Schaefer, is lowered from a three-story building at midnight. Can't make it to Maine? Watch it live this year on CNN.

7. Pickle
The 14th annual pickle drop will be held at 7 p.m. (midnight Greenwich Mean Time) at the Mt. Olive Pickle Company in Mount Olive, North Carolina. About 3,000 people last year were treated to free pickles, a factory tour, and the pickle drop.

6. Tortilla Chip
In Tempe, Arizona, a four-foot triangular chip is dropped by crane into a large jar of salsa at midnight in the center of town. A ten-block-long street party and fireworks come with the chip.

5. One M&M (Does that make it just an "M"?)
In Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania a giant red M&M is dropped at 7:p.m. At the same time, another M&M is dropped in Elizabethtown's sister city Letterkenny in Ireland (where it's midnight). Elizabethtown is the home of M&M Mars Inc.

4. Cheese
Each year, an 80-pound lighted wedge of real cheese is dropped from a 100-foot ladder truck in Plymouth, Wisconsin. This tribute to Wisconsin's dairy industry takes place at the Plymouth Arts Center and hot cocoa is given out to all the cheesy partiers.

3. Moon Pie
The fifth annual Moon Pie Over Mobile is a giant New Year's party in Mobile, Alabama. 5,000 Moon Pies are given out by Chattanooga Bakery, Inc, the makers of Moon Pies before a giant 600-pound, 12-foot tall electric Moon Pie is dropped from the 34th floor of the RSA Tower at midnight. About 60,000 people are expected to watch the giant treat, as well as enjoy a concert by The Commodores.

2. Giant Peep
A giant 85-pound four-and-a-half foot tall yellow Peep (wearing a red scarf) is dropped each year in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, as part of a three-day Peep-fest! Bethlehem is home to the Just Born Company, where Peeps are hatched, not born.

1. A Real Dead Carp
Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin gets kudos for dropping the weirdest possible item to celebrate the new year. A real dead carp, caught by local fishermen is hoisted up then lowered onto a throne. The carp represents the town's fishing industry (plus it's considered lucky in Chinese culture -- to everyone but the fish). The DOA carp, nicknamed "Lucky", has a tree planted where it is buried with a commemorative plaque listing the carp's name and year.

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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times, covering the restaurant and bar scene in South Florida. She has been featured on Cooking Channel’s Eat Street and Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race. Doss won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature on what it’s like to wait tables. In a previous life, she appeared off-Broadway and shook many a cocktail as a bartender at venues in South Florida and New York City. When she’s not writing, you can find Doss running some marathon then celebrating at the nearest watering hole.
Contact: Laine Doss