New Year’s Eve is a night of celebration and making memories with friends and family. Every year as the clock nears midnight, people anticipate watching the ball drop in New York City. At least 100 million people in the United States tune in to watch the ball drop each year.
While the ball drop in Times Square is possibly the most well-known NYE drop (and certainly worth tuning into), other unique drops are also happening the same night–closer to home than you may think.
Here are some of the unique NYE drops, located right here in Pennsylvania!
Each year, Kennett Square drops a 700-pound stainless steel mushroom in the “Mushroom Capital of the World.” The event known as “Midnight in the Square” starts at 9:00 pm and local businesses are open. The mushroom drops at midnight as crowds of people ring in the New Year.
People who live outside the greater Philadelphia area may wonder why Kennett Square chose to drop a giant mushroom, but half of America’s mushrooms are grown near the town. The Quakers’ settlement around 1885 led to the large mushroom companies that fill the area today and supply the product to several states.
Bethlehem is located just over an hour from Wilkes-Barre and holds an annual two-day New Year’s Eve festival known as Peepsfest. The drop is one-of-a-kind with a nearly five-foot-tall lit up Peeps Chick weighing 200 pounds. It marks the beginning of the New Year at 5:15 pm on December 31.
Just Born, the candy manufacturer of marshmallow peeps in Bethlehem, has been producing the candy for over 60 years. People gather at the SteelStacks in the city to watch the massive peep move above the crowd; unfortunately, this giant peep isn’t made of marshmallow.
It’s no surprise that the Hershey’s Kiss NYE drop is among the top attractions for families on the holiday. ChoclateTown Square in Hershey welcomes people of all ages from 9:00 pm to midnight. The massive Hershey Kiss is 12 feet high, weighs 300 pounds, and is made of aluminum, wire mesh, and fiberglass. It’s dropped from the third story of the Hershey Press Building.
The Hershey Company had its start in Derry Township, PA in 1886 by founder Milton Hershey. By 1907, Hershey’s Kisses made of milk chocolate were introduced and originally wrapped by hand in foil. The Hershey Kiss became a symbol for the town, and the company opened a theme park the early 1900s.
Mechanicsburg, PA celebrates the New Year from 10:30 pm to 12:30 am by dropping a wrench on Main Street. The first wrench was dropped in 2004 and commemorates the town’s founders in the early 19th century. The celebration goes on from 9:00 pm to 12:30 am The ten and a half foot wrench is lit up and dropped in front of the Washington Fire Company on 53 E. Main Street.
The town’s NYE drop is a result of an Eagle Scout project by a Mechanicsburg Area School District graduate. The wrench is the main feature because it celebrate’s Mechanicsburg’s founding–settlers were mechanics who would make and repair wagons.
Kendra is a content writer with a BA in literature from Wilkes University. When she’s not reading up on the latest home decorating trends, Kendra is busy designing her future home, library included.