NC town will drop flea on New Year's Eve

Posted December 29, 2010

— The Cumberland County town of Eastover is starting a tradition this New Year’s Eve by dropping a 30-pound flea.

The 3-foot-tall insect, which is made of fabric, foam, wire and wood, will be dropped in front of the Eastover Community Center at midnight on Friday.

A local seamstress helped put the insect together, Mayor Charles McLaurin said.

“She put some effort into it. It turned out pretty good,” he said.

The town of Eastover was known as Flea Hill until the 1920s. The name of the town was changed, but a nearby hill and water drainage district still carry the name.

“This is a sandy area, and, consequently, fleas like sandy areas. That hill kind of picked up the name Flea Hill,” McLaurin said.

According to locals, the town was infested with the pests nearly 50 years ago.

“Animals would get under the church. Consequently, the church got infested with fleas. It became almost unbearable,” McLaurin said.

The preacher would open the Bible with one hand and scratch fleas with the other, according to local folklore.

Since then, the fleas have fled the town.

Eastover, with a population of about 3,800, was incorporated in 2007. McLaurin is its first mayor.

Now, as a way to honor its heritage, the town will drop a flea on New Year’s Eve.

“We had to do something that was original, a little quirky. But it worked out pretty good,” McLaurin said.

Eastover to celebrate New Year's with flea drop Eastover to celebrate New Year's with flea drop

Festivities begin at 10:30 p.m. The ceremony will include a storyteller recounting the legend of Flea Hill just before midnight.

McLaurin said there is a contest to name the flea. Submissions have included Kathy Flea Gifford, General Robert E. Flea and Marty McFlea, he said. The town will decide on the name just before midnight.

A flea prevention company in Kansas has sent 1,000 inflatable fleas the town in honor of the event.


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  • greeniz76 Dec 30, 2010

    The State of North Carolina will not mourn your absence should you choose to relocate your current residence. Happy New Year and just enjoy the creativity.

  • Kathy333 Dec 30, 2010

    I think it's a great idea! It sure is more creative than just a round ball! I hope they end up with a really cute name for the "little" 30 lb flea! And I'm darn proud to be from North Carolina...where we drop acorns and fleas!

  • LovemyPirates Dec 30, 2010

    Has anyone noticed this story is posted under Entertainment? This means the story is entertaining; funny, silly, unusual, comical...

  • Arapaloosa Dec 30, 2010

    My dog drops fleas all the time... Thank goodness they're not 30 lbs. LOL

  • fl2nc2ca2md2nc Dec 30, 2010

    Too funny! I like the different ways to do things other than simply dropping a ball... Other towns in other states do similar things. People need to lighten up...

  • winwrenn Dec 30, 2010

    bcsutton1 you sound idiotic. Does it make you feel superior to make fun of the history and herritage of our state and our people. If you do not like it here, then pack your bags and find a better place for yourself. Happy New Year and may you find some peace and happieness!

  • RB-1 Dec 30, 2010

    There is a town in PA named Intercourse (which use to mean "crossroads" in the old days).

    Hope they aren't going to dangle anything from their flagpole on New Years Eve.

  • RB-1 Dec 30, 2010

    Thank God their heritage name wasn't Hemorrhoid.

    What will be next.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Dec 30, 2010

    bcsutton1, Be GONNNNE, oh little one.

  • bcsutton1 Dec 30, 2010

    The state of North Carolina will be dropping acorns, pickles and fleas on New Years Eve. Sometimes, I'm embarrassed to live in this idiotic state.