Drop Into The New Year
lowers its acorn and Charlotte lights up its crown, but
some N.C. towns find even more unusual ways to greet the New Year.
deep in the heart of western North Carolina, drops a possum, while
in Mt. Olive, a three-foot, lighted pickle goes for a swim in
the briny deep.
self-proclaimed "Opossum Capital of the World," has been dropping
the possum at midnight on New Year's Eve for more than 15 years
in front of Clay's Corner, a combination gas station and general
store in the center of town.
Actually, the possum is gently lowered in a plexiglass pyramid
ever since a brush with animal rights activists a few years ago.
Now the guest of honor gets the royal treatment, snacks on cat
food, and is turned loose at the end of the celebration.
Possum Drop has generated a lot of publicity for the Cherokee
County town, with articles in the New York Times, the Taipei Times
and all points in between, after the Associated Press put the
story on the wire.
Clay Logan, organizer of the alcohol-free event, hopes to be able
to continue the tradition. "We're not optimistic or pessimistic,"
he told reporters. "We're opossumistic."
Olive's New Year's Eve Pickle Drop, a family-friendly
affair with live music and free refreshments, welcomes the year
on Greenwich Mean Time. Mr. Crisp, the Mt. Olive Pickle Company
mascot, drops the dill down the flagpole at Cucumber and Vine
into a giant redwood pickle barrel at precisely 7 p.m.
around North Carolina:
Carolina Beach, the Island
of Lights celebration welcomes the new year with the lowering
of a giant lighted beach ball and a street dance.
the N.C. mountains, Sugar
Mountain Resort, Appalachian
Ski Mountain, and Cataloochee
Ski Area kick off the new year with torch light parades
down their ski slopes, followed by fireworks.
the Good Luck Dragon runs up and down the waterfront on
New Year's Eve.
you can welcome the New Year on Wilmington's Henrietta
III Riverboat or aboard the Great
Smoky Mountain Railway, at elegant evenings at the Pinehurst
Resort or the Grove
rings in the new year at the Old Bell Tower while the Home
Moravian Church in Winston-Salem welcomes all to watch
for the New Year at a traditional Lovefeast service.
and many more holiday celebrations can be found at the N.C. Division
of Tourism's website: www.visitnc.com.
published in North Carolina Magazine]
Finding Fireworks in North
and South Carolina
Downtown Countdown a family-friendly celebration with
fireworks at midnight.
New Year's events in the North Carolina Mountains.]
Blowing Rock, NC: Appalachian
Ski Mountain, Torchlight skiing and Fireworks
Banner Elk, NC: Sugar
Mountain hosts night skiing, and a free torchlight parade
and fireworks at midnight.
Holiday Light Displays through January 1:
of Lights -Pleasure Island (Carolina Beach/Kure
- Light Up the Beach
- World's Largest Living
Christmas Tree, through Dec. 31 (6-10pm) Hilton Park
(off Hwy. 117), Wilmington.
- Illumination of Riverfront
Park, Historic Downtown Wilmington (Water Street).
- Holiday Lights over
NC-Lit from stem to stern through Jan. 6. View@Riverfront
Myrtle Beach, SC: Broadway
at the Beach Fireworks Spectacular, 6pm, Free.
In Scotland, the New Year's celebration
is called Hogmanay.
Every city in Scotland holds a riotous
street party capped by the singing of Auld Lang Syne.
Torchlight parades and bonfires are
traditional practices, along with Scottish music and dance
parties, called ceilidhs ("kay-lees").
Scottish lore has it that you can expect
a prosperous New Year if the first guest to enter your door
after the stroke of midnight is a "tall, dark stranger"
brings a gift of cake, a coin or a lump of coal for the fire.
If this stranger shows up at your door,
be sure to offer him food, wine, a "wee dram" of
whisky, or the traditional Het Pint, a combination
of ale, nutmeg and whisky.
Groups of friends often go from house
to house on New Year's Eve to bring luck to all.
On New Year's Day, the Scots go "First
Footing," walking the boundaries of the parish, town
You can participate in a North
Carolina First Footing on New Year's Day at Rural
Hill Farm, near Davidson, NC, hosted by the Catawba
Valley Scottish Society.
"Lang may your lum reek."
(May the fire on your hearth burn on.)
New Year's Eve requires a singing of Auld
- Get the full
lyrics (and what they mean) straight from the Scots.
John, a combination of beans and rice, is the traditional
dish down South on New Years.
Serve some Greens
and Hog Jowls on the side for an authentic Southern soul-food
feast guaranteed to bring you maximum luck in the New Year.
Living it up? Here's the low-down on
Portable Travel Bar Set
The portable cocktail party! You will love how
the Manhattan Portable Mini Wet Bar Travel Set is loaded with
everything for your party on-the-go. This party pack cocktail
case has shakers, jiggers, tongs and strainers, 2 martini glasses
and room for two bottles of your favorite spirits. Don't forget
New Year's Toasts
Colonel Sherman Potter
of M*A*S*H: "To long lives and short wars!"
Tiny Tim in Charles Dickens',
A Christmas Carol: "God bless us everyone!"
New Year's Toast
Here's to the bright New Year
And a fond farewell to the old;
Here's to the things that are yet to come
And to the memories that we hold
In Spain, people pop a
grape into their mouths for each gong of the clock at midnight
to symbolize good luck for
each month of the New Year
Spanish Toast: Salud (Sa Lood)
and traditions from around the world...
Traditional Irish toast:
In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out
in friendship, but never in want.
How to say "Cheers"
in different languages
Family Friendly First Nights
Or hit the streets at one of the
family-friendly, alcohol-free First Night celebrations
around the country.
Night began in Boston back in 1976. The
Boston celebration is now the largest New Year's Eve
celebration in the world with thousands of performers and hundreds
of events spread out over the city. Puppets, ice sculptures and
performances by arts groups are just part of the entertainment,
all accessible with a low-priced button.
Some First Night events
around the South include:
But there are many more. First
Night International now includes celebrations around the world.
Find one in a city near you.
Staying Home Fun
Spending New Year's with family?
Here are some
fun family projects and games, plus some recipes
everyone will like.
great ways to start the New Year, from Disney
Webcams: Watch the New Year arrive
Cocktails for an
Cocktails from Billy Bear
a Virtual Cocktail to someone you'd like to celebrate
New Year's with.