State News

NC New Year's traditions among nation's oddest

Posted December 15, 2010
Updated December 16, 2010

— In traditions modeled off the glittering ball that drops annually in New York City's Times Square, North Carolina towns look to local icons for their celebrations.

In Raleigh, the City of Oaks, a 1,200-pound acorn is the centerpiece of the celebration. The Mt. Olive Pickle Company in Mount Olive drops a glowing, three-foot-long pickle to mark the New Year in Greenwich Mean Time – 7 p.m. EST.

The newest addition to the dropping tradition is a 30-pound insect. The eastern North Carolina town of Eastover will drop a flea made of fabric, foam, wire and wood Dec. 31 from Flea Hill. 

The ceremony will include a storyteller recounting the legend of Flea Hill just before midnight. An Eastover native wrote nearly 50 years ago that Flea Hill was infested with the pests. 

While 2011 marks the first year for the flea, North Carolina's other offbeat drops made the list of the 10 quirkiest. Mt. Olive's pickle was No. 1.


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  • Dixiecrat Dec 16, 2010

    I enjoy the Cherryville shooters. It involves roving bands of yahoos with blackpowder guns scaring off evil spirits, in varying degrees of intoxication. It's an old German immigrant thing.

  • RB-1 Dec 16, 2010

    The way they lower the acorn from that big commercial crane is ugly. With all the tall buildings down there, isn't there a better way???

    Also, once the celebration is over, get the acorn out of there. It's ugly sitting to the side of the mall for days, and sometimes weeks, on end.

    I keep waiting for someone to grafitti it with it just sitting around down there after the celebration like it is.

  • gecko Dec 16, 2010

    A flea and a pickle are cool and all but the real action is at the Opossum Drop.

  • blackdog Dec 16, 2010

    "Us folks in Lizard Lick need to come up with something. I wonder what?"

    Construct a giant lizard. At the stroke of midnight, the lizard sticks his tongue out, and licks himself.

  • The Fox Dec 16, 2010

    Us folks in Lizard Lick need to come up with something. I wonder what?

  • PhotoJ Dec 16, 2010

    Just one more thing for the DC and NYC based news programs to snark and guffaw over. If it's not a giant flea, it's a drunken mountain man saying how pretty Big Foot's hair was. Sheesh!

  • Karmageddon Dec 16, 2010

    Let's hope the flea hasn't flew with a fly thru a flaw in the flue

  • torr10 Dec 15, 2010

    I like the Raleigh Road Drive In in Henderson better. They drop a big ole ball of popcorn from a crane. And they have a steak dinner with sparkling grape juice. Earlier in the night they have a small fireworks display for the kids.

  • Calvin Dec 15, 2010

    hmmmm.... I would like to see them drop something on the two remaining sleazy a wrecking ball

  • _Graysons_Mommy_ Dec 15, 2010