Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Ringing in the Southern New Year

             You're probably familiar with the crystal ball drop that occurs at midnight in Times Square, New York, on New Year’s Eve, the massive televised event that rings in the New Year. Not to be outdone, the South has a few of its own.
            Alabama is home to the 12-foot-tall, 350-pound MoonPie that's lowered 34 stories from the RSA BankTrust Tower in downtown Mobile. Known as MoonPie Over Mobile, the celebration attracts 40,000 visitors and has been recognized by Oprah and Good Morning America as one of the most fun-filled New Year's celebrations in the country. And because Carnival begins on Jan. 6, the New Year celebration includes a Mardi Gras-style parade, a laser light show and live performances by the Village People and Evelyn Champagne King. Watch the video here
           A fleur de lis falls over the crowd from the top of Jax Brewery in New Orleans, followed by a 15-minute fireworks display over the Mississippi River at the New Orleans New Year's Eve fun. There's also a ball drop for the kids at the Louisiana Children's Museum starting at noon on New Year's Eve. You can view a video of the fun here
Geno Delafose
            The same can be said for Lafayette, Louisiana, the heart of Cajun Country, where the Children's Museum of Acadiana hosts a "New Year's Noon" ball drop and party for the little ones. Adults may want to head over to Lafayette's Vermilionville to catch Geno Delafose party on zydeco-style into the New Year.
            The original name for Tallapoosa, Georgia, was “Possum Snout” but was later changed to the more dignified Native American name that means “Golden River.” Folks here still like their possum, however, and drop a stuffed version of one named Spencer on New Year’s Eve. In addition to the New Year’s Eve drop, there will be entertainment, food and the crowning of the Possum Drop King and Queen (who are not stuffed, just an FYI) with a conclusion of fireworks.
Tallapoosa Possum Drop
             A giant pelican drops down from a 100-foot platform at the intersection of Palafox and Government streets in Pensacola. Festivities begin at 3 p.m. on New Year's Eve with live performances, a kids’ area and more. At the stroke of midnight, the whole city celebrates as the Pelican descends amidst fireworks and confetti.
            For New Year’s Eve, Key West drops three items: A large conch shell from the top of the famous Sloppy Joe’s Bar, a pirate wench from a schooner mast in the harbor and drag queen Sushi from a balcony on a bright red six-foot high heel at the Bourbon Street Pub/New Orleans House complex, followed by fireworks on the Back Bay.
            The largest drop in the South occurs in Historic Underground Atlanta, where a giant peach falls in front of more than 100,000 people, the largest New Year’s celebration of its kind in the southeast and second to New York nationwide. 
            For something more traditional, visit Fincastle, Virginia, which dates back to the 1700s. On New Year’s Eve, about 15 minutes before midnight, the courthouse bell begins ringing. Then the town’s churches ring their bells and it all continues until the courthouse bell strikes 12. Taps are then played to signify respect for the dying year and bell-ringers in the courthouse strike the digits of the New Year. Then three shotgun blasts indicate that it is time for the bells to joyously welcome the New Year by ringing for an additional 10 minutes.

No comments:

Post a Comment