VOICES OF DAVIDSON
Planning Ahead: Dropping In On 2022 – Davidson Style
Planning ahead: What should Davidson “Drop” to ring in 2022?
On New Year’s Eve (in non-pandemic times), many people ’round the globe gather for a final party to mark the end of the holiday season and the beginning of a new year. The largest version occurs in New York City’s Times Square, where up to a million revelers shuffle around in the cold to watch a large, illuminated Waterford Crystal ball descend a long pole, beneath a giant clock. As the ornate ball descends, it counts down the seconds toward a tumultuous touchdown prompts celebrants to cheer, kiss, hug, and screech on their noisemakers.
The first New York City observation occurred in 1907. Through the years, the ball-drop party has been adopted in more and more locales, and event organizers have become more creative, more artistic, and sillier about the object used for the countdown.
While most parties focus on the descent of some sort of ball, many “drops” involve objects that represent an aspect of local culture, geography, or history. In fact, Wikipedia lists several hundred.
Why not do as they do in Raleigh, which goes big by lowering of a 900-pound copper and steel sculpted acorn? Eastover, North Carolina., allegedly drops a three-foot-tall, 30-pound, wooden flea. The Marion Rotary Club drops a five-foot-tall, illuminated gold nugget into a large doughnut. In Cherryville they fire antique muskets. Mount Olive, home to a huge pickle industry, does indeed host a Pickle Drop. One group staged a live-possum drop for several years but discontinued the event when animal rights activists raised a ruckus—despite the fact that the possum was released after being dropped. No problem apparently in Gainesville, Georgia, where a “Chuck the Chicken” Drop benefits the Humane Society.
The epicenter of New Year’s Eve celebrations is the state of Pennsylvania, where Wikipedia lists 60 annual New Year’s parties, ranging from a hemlock-tree drop in Halifax to a three-foot-tall Pac-Man in Hanover and a wrench in Mechanicsville.
The creativity exhibited in this year-end ritual is staggering. Dropped objects include a 200-pound tangerine, a conch shell, a pineapple, a french fry, a giant M&M, a strawberry, a stuffed goat, a papier mâché Bermuda onion, a fish named Captain Wylie Walleye, a stuffed muskrat named Marshall, a buzzard, a giant key, watermelons, a 100-pound, yellow, illuminated Peep made out of fiberglass.
Other parties honor a mossbunker fish, a blueberry, a model gazebo, a replica railroad wheel, ping-pong balls, a giant pierogi, a cigar, a button, a wooden cow, a purple and gold shoe, and a snow sled. A 10-foot Crayola crayon is thoughtfully dropped at 8 p.m. at one party to accommodate children’s bedtimes.
Finally, in Middletown, Pennsylvania., the organizers have gone geometric, lowering a metal Rhombicuboctahedron, referred to by the organizers as a “sphoctagon” portmanteau of sphere and octagon, is dropped. Whatever that is.
Alas, Davidsonians play no part in the fun. We locals celebrate the arrival of the new year indoors and in private. Anyone looking for a party in these parts must go to Charlotte, where a large crown is lowered in recognition of the municipality known as the Queen City.
So why not Davidson? For a town that celebrates many other civic celebrations, is this not a missed opportunity? News of Davidson would like to know your ideas for a properly themed Davidson New Year’s Eve celebration. What object would be appropriate for dropping here?
While the pandemic would have canceled a local celebration this year, we count on things being safe enough to plan for a big drop next winter. We invite you to put on your thinking caps and submit your ideas for a “Davidson Drop” to our editors.
Bill Giduz was the son who followed his father’s footsteps into journalism. He has been involved his entire life with news and photography in schools he attended and jobs he’s held. He believes now that he’s got a few good years left to devote to The News of Davidson.