Fayetteville, N.C. — People celebrate New Year's Eve in some of North Carolina's cities a little differently than at the traditional party Times Square ball in New York City.
While the lighted ball drops at midnight to kick off 2012 in the Big Apple, a dogwood flower will rise to the sky in Fayetteville, a flea made of wood, wire and foam will drop in Eastover and a glowing vegetable will have already plunged from a pickle company flagpole in Mount Olive.
The Wayne County town dropped the three-and-a-half-foot pickle at the Mount Olive Pickle Company on the early side of the evening – at 12 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time or 7 p.m. locally – so revelers could move on to other festivities.
At the coast, a crab pot will descend in Morehead City and, to the west, the community of Brasstown will gently lower a live opossum from the sky.
To be sure, the state's traditions are unusual, but the message is the same: out with the old year and in with the new.
About 10,000 people gathered at Festival Park in Fayetteville to welcome 2012 with a blooming dogwood flower and a fireworks display.