It’s All About the “Drop” in Pennsylvania for New Year’s Eve
By: Carrie Lepore, Department of Community and Economic Development Deputy Secretary of Marketing, Tourism, and Film
December 19, 2016
Three! Two! One! Happy New Year! There’s no better place to Pursue Your Happiness in 2017 than Pennsylvania and we’re proud of the reputation our state holds for hosting more unique drops than any other state. From the iconic Marshmallow Peep® in Bethlehem to a pickle in Dillsburg, we encourage all Happy Travelers to celebrate December 31 at any one of the many memorable places that are only be available in Pennsylvania this New Year’s Eve.
Recycled Ball, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County
Join the city of Pittsburgh for Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2017 as it ushers in the New Year with a ball raise minutes before midnight, followed by a spectacular fireworks show. The “Future of Pittsburgh” ball is a 1,000-pound, illuminated orb made entirely of recycled materials, symbolizing Pittsburgh’s continuous efforts to be a “green” city. A kickoff celebration for the New Year’s festivities begins at 6 p.m., followed by the FedEx Ground Parade at 8 p.m., accompanied by ongoing comedic, musical, and theatre performances throughout the evening.
Mushroom, Kennett Square, Chester County
Bring in the New Year at the “Mushroom Capital of the World,” Kennett Square. For the fourth time ever, a 700-pound stainless steel mushroom will be lowered to count down the New Year as a nod to the town’s acres of fungus fields. The Midnight in the Square event will feature music, food and entertainment and will culminate with the mushroom drop at midnight.
Button, Carlisle, Cumberland County
Carlisle celebrates New Year’s Eve by encouraging visitors and residents to design a button that will be dropped at the annual First Night Carlisle event. The final result is a 50-pound, aluminum-framed button that is accented with LED lights. Over 140 children entered the 2016 Button Contest, and the winning theme was “No Place Like Home.” Beginning at 5 p.m., the First Night Carlisle celebration will include live music performances and art exhibits, and it will close with a fantastic fireworks display.
Wrench, Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County
The town of Mechanicsburg celebrates the New Year from 9:00 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. with the annual dropping of a wrench on Main Street. The tradition commemorates the borough’s founders — mechanics who settled in the area to make and repair wagons in the early 19th century.
Hershey’s Kiss, Hershey, Dauphin County
Begin the New Year at the “Sweetest Place on Earth!®” The Hershey’s Kiss Raise is ranked second by USA Today Travel for great places for a family-friendly New Year’s Eve. This well-known chocolate town pulls out all the stops for its New Year’s Eve in Hershey event. At 11:59 p.m., a Hershey’s Kiss is raised amongst a sweet-toothed crowd, and a midnight fireworks display completes a family-friendly night in beautiful downtown Hershey.
Strawberry, Harrisburg, Dauphin County
The New Year’s Eve celebration in Harrisburg hosts a crowd of thousands in the state’s capital. At 60 seconds before midnight, a giant, lit strawberry starts its descent from the top of the downtown Hilton Harrisburg to ring in the New Year. The evening includes live entertainment, dancing, children’s arts and crafts and fireworks.
Red Rose, Lancaster, Lancaster County
Lancaster starts the New Year when its signature red rose ascends at Binns Park. Symbolic of the War of Roses between Lancaster and York, the red rose celebration starts early and lasts through the evening. With more than 20 indoor performances, Countdown Lancaster is a family-oriented event filled with visual and performing entertainment ending in a midnight fireworks display.
Bologna, Lebanon, Lebanon County
It wouldn’t be New Year’s Eve in central Pennsylvania without a famous Pennsylvania Dutch treat descending from the sky. Join the excitement in Lebanon as crowds count down the seconds with the famous 16-foot Lebanon Bologna coming to a stop at the stroke of midnight. Start off the year by being amazed, amused, and maybe even hungry.
Marshmallow Peep®, Bethlehem, Northampton County
For a truly one-of-a-kind New Year’s Eve celebration, First Night® Bethlehem “peeps” with pride. Start the evening by experiencing the celebration spanning downtown and offering artistic and cultural entertainment for young and old, sponsored by the non-profit ArtsQuest. Enjoy a wide variety of music and art before watching the signature Marshmallow Peep® travel down toward the excited crowd, ringing in the New Year as only Bethlehem can.
Sled, Duncannon, Perry County
Duncannon Borough brings in the New Year with its annual Sled Drop at midnight, during a fireworks display. The 10-foot sled used is a model of the famous Lightning Guider sled manufactured at the Standard Sled Factory in Duncannon from 1904 until 1990. Festivities are held from 10 p.m. to midnight.
Yuengling© Beer Bottle, Pottsville, Schuylkill County
New Year’s Eve in Pottsville is marked by the raising of the Yuengling© beer bottle to the top of the flagpole at Garfield Square. Ring in the New Year with a toast to the oldest brewery in America.
Beaver, Beavertown, Snyder County
Watch Bucky the Beaver descend from the sky this New Year in Beavertown in the Susquehanna River Valley. This life-size beaver got his name from a community contest that was held before the event’s second year. He is held in the air by a 75-foot ladder and slowly lowered to the ground, landing at midnight.
Kettle, McClure, Snyder County
The fourth McClure Kettle Drop New Year’s Eve Celebration at the McClure Fire Hall is sure to be an entertaining community event for the whole family. Ring in the New Year with food, dancing and activities for the kids, and watch the lowering of the cast-iron kettle at midnight in honor of the historic McClure Bean Soup Festival and Fair Celebration.
White Rose, York, York County
Attendees of York’s New Year’s Eve celebration are sure to have a blast bringing in 2017. Enjoy a children’s countdown to the balloon drop from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m., with complimentary hats and noisemakers, perfect for the youngsters. Join the crowd in smelling roses all the way until midnight as a white rose descends from the sky in Continental Square, symbolic of the War of Roses between Lancaster and York.
Pickle, Dillsburg, York County
Although Dillsburg has nothing to do with pickles, the town sure does know how to have fun with its name. Get into a real “pickle” as Dillsburg celebrates its annual Pickle Drop at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. Once the delicious dill has descended into the barrel, the party continues with a fireworks display lasting until 12:30 a.m.
For more information on New Year’s Eve drops and celebrations, check out visitPA.com and follow our social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest). Or signup for our monthly newsletter for PA road trip ideas and events that are happening across our great state.
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