Due to Covid-19, many of the free or inexpensive outdoor New Year’s Eve celebrations have been cancelled. A few have come back, though, in 2021. (Updated for New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2021.) Read more
Most everyone is familiar with the ball dropping at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve in New York’s Times Square. I’ll bet you didn’t know that here in the Midwest, several cities have their own traditions of dropping quirky objects. I didn’t either until I started researching New Year’s Eve events for the Midwest Festivals and Fairs page. Here are some that I found:
In Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, the grand finale of the Carp Fest that runs for several days at the end of the year includes a pyrotechnic show, music, a bonfire and the Droppin’ of the Carp. Kiss Lucky the Carp for a year of good fortune.
Another fish, a 20 foot, 600 pound walleye, drops in Port Clinton, Ohio, during Walleye Madness at Midnight following an evening of festivities with street vendors, raffles, and live entertainment. An early, 6 p.m. edition of the fish drop entertains kids whose bedtime is well before midnight.
Traverse City, Michigan, known for tart cherries, drops an illuminated cherry, called a Cherry T Ball at midnight, with live music beginning at 9:30 p.m. If weather permits, you’ll see fireworks, too. The Cherry T Ball is a charity fundraising event. Suggested admission is $3 or three non-perishable food items.
In Charlevoix, Michigan, the Memorial Draw Bridge will be raised at 11:45 p.m. and then lowered with the countdown to midnight, followed by fireworks and the lighting of the lighthouse. Bridge Drop festivities begin in early afternoon and include a snowman building contest, food trucks and s’mores and hot cocoa.
Watermelon is the thing to drop in Vincennes, Indiana, fourteen of them! Live music, food and spirits begin at 9 p.m.
Do you know of a Midwest town that drops something on New Year’s Eve? Tell us about it in the comments below.
Happy wandering in the New Year.
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