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Unique New Year celebrations throughout the country

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News & TripAdvisor) - As New Year's Eve is celebrated and much preparation is taking place in New York's Times Square, TripAdvisor editors identified events throughout the country that offer revelers unique ways to usher in the New Year.  If you cannot make it to New York City for New Year's Eve, the list of America's most unique and quirky New Year's Eve events includes: 

The Droppin' of the Carp – Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin

In Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, the carp master, from The Droppin' of the Carp, ceremoniously lowers Lucky, a frozen 25 - 30 lbs. carp recently caught in the Mississippi River, 110-feet into a wooden cradle during a countdown to midnight.  Attended by more than 2,500 people, residents are encouraged to kiss the carp for good luck.  The Droppin' of the Carp also includes three hours of live family-friendly entertainment, a bon fire, music, and fireworks.  After the carp drops, attendees recite the "Pledge of Allegiance" and a sing along to "God Bless America."

Midnight Muskrat Dive – Princess Anne, Maryland

Attendees wait in anticipation of the New Year with four hours live music from local musicians and food and drinks provided by local vendors.  Prior to the big show, guests can meet and greet its star Marshall P. Muskrat, a stuffed muskrat, which represents the local history of muskrat hunting in Maryland.  As the evening approaches midnight, Marshall P. Muskrat is raised above Somerset Avenue in downtown Princess Anne and is lowered into the crowds as guests countdown to the New Year, and a local musician plays Auld Lang Syne on the Highland Bag Pipes. 

Pine Cone Drop – Flagstaff, Arizona

Flagstaff will ring in the New Year at the Weatherford Hotel with its traditional Pine Cone Drop featuring an 8-foot tall by 4-feet wide pine cone made out of gold and silver aluminum and lit from top to bottom. The tradition first started in 1999 to celebrate hotel's 100th anniversary and has grown to attract a record crowd of nearly 8,000.  Music, fireworks and family fun are all part of the night's celebration that starts at 10 p.m. with the giant pine cone's first drop of the night for families and again at midnight, which is followed by fireworks.

Meteor Drop – Wetumpka, Alabama

For more than 20 years, this southern river city has welcomed in the New Year with a blast from the past.  Wetumpka is home to a six mile crater that was created by a large asteroid that crashed 85 million years ago.  The event features a mock asteroid with a fiery trail blasting into the plaza in front of the courthouse.  The asteroid is dropped at 11 p.m. and is followed by a fireworks show at the stroke of midnight.

Duck Drop – Havre de Grace, Maryland

All but one duck migrates south for the winter in Maryland as Havre de Grace uses its traditional 15-feet long, brightly lit duck to countdown to the New Year.  This year in honor of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the city has decided to light the duck entirely in pink to mark an early kick off for cancer awareness.  With nearly 1,000 residents and tourists counting down to the New Year, the duck is dropped 100 feet at midnight with music, hot chocolate, duck noise makers, and much fanfare.

Olive Drop – Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Guests can celebrate in cheer as the spirits flow at the Price Tower Arts Center's annual Olive Drop New Year's Eve event.  Taking place at the Price Tower Arts Center, a skyscraper designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, the event provides entertainment throughout the evening with live music, dancing, a champagne toast, and more.  At midnight, a giant styrofoam olive descends 14 floors to the 10-feet tall Martini glass located on the second floor of the building.

Cherry Blossom Ball Drop – Macon, Georgia

Known for being the cherry blossom capital of the world, Macon Georgia rightly celebrates the New Year with a gigantic 10-feet cherry blossom ball decorated with cherry blossom-colored lights. The family-friendly event hosts free activities for children including inflatable jumpers, face painting and glitter tattoos along with music and dancing for adults.  More than 2,000 attendees enjoy the event including a 20-minute firework show following the cherry blossom ball drop.

Last Night Fayetteville (Hog Drop) – Fayetteville, Arkansas

Taking place in Fayetteville's Downtown Square, this New Year's Eve celebration features a performing arts festival with musical performances, belly dancing, jugglers, comedians, a giant puppet parade, and more throughout the evening.  As the evening approaches the New Year, the downtown square will count down with the annual "Hog Drop" as a 10-foot long and 6-feet tall fiberglass sculpture of a pig is lowered to the ground.  After the ceremony, the Downtown Square's Christmas lights are dimmed as a display of fireworks continue the celebration into the New Year.

Let E-Town Ring – Dove Promise Bar Drop – Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania

A large 5-foot Dove Promise Bar helps Elizabethtown residents and visitors ring in the New Year.  As part of the family-friendly Let E-Town Ring event, the oversized chocolate bar that is made of fabric and stuffing is lowered at 7 p.m. (which is midnight in Elizabethtown's sister city Letterkenny, Ireland) on Market Street followed by fireworks and celebration.  With Elizabethtown being the home of the M & M Mars factory that manufactures the Dove Promise Bars, the celebration originated in 2001 to support local businesses.  Let E-Town Ring begins at 4 p.m. with bands playing, arts and crafts programs, face painting, ticket raffles, and more.  Admission is $5.

Deuce of Clubs Drop – Show Low, Arizona

The Arizona mountain town named for a poker game celebrates the New Year by dropping a 6-foot tall electronic two of clubs card made out of reinforced sign cabinet (extruded aluminum) in the middle of Deuce of Clubs Road.  The event began in 2011 to celebrate the unique and historical naming of the city. The free event takes place at Festival Marketplace and begins at 10 p.m. with music, dancing, fireworks, food and hot chocolate for the whole family.  Additionally, in commemoration of the event, spectators of the drop have a chance to win a $2 bill by drawing the deuce of clubs in a card game.

Information courtesy of: TripAdvisor & Lily Montijo

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