State News

NC New Year's traditions among nation's oddest

Posted December 15, 2010 9:38 a.m. EST
Updated December 16, 2010 4:59 a.m. EST

— 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.