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  • Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
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    Kennett Square,

    Pennsylvania

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    Kennett Square is a borough in Chester County, Pennsylvania, United States. It is known as the Mushroom Capital of the World because mushroom farming in the region produces over 500 million pounds of mushrooms a year, totaling half of the United States mushroom crop. To celebrate this heritage, Kennett Square has an annual Mushroom Festival, where the town shuts down to have a parade, tour mushroom farms, and buy and sell food and other goods. It is also home to the corporate headquarters of Genesis HealthCare which administers elderly care facilities. Located in the Delaware Valley, Kennett Square is considered a suburb of both Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Wilmington, Delaware. The local high school is Kennett High School. Its population was 6,072 at the 2010 census. It is also the birthplace of the sister of the 46th and current president of the United States, Valerie Biden.
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    InspirationDestinations

    Unique New Years Eve Drops

    Everyone knows that New York City is famous for its New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square, but for those looking for something a little more unique and symbolic to ring in 2022, these towns are hosting slightly weird yet totally “on-brand” drops on December 31. MoonPie Drop , Mobile, Alabama Photo by Joseph Brooke / Flickr Creative Commons Mobile’s mantra is “Born to Celebrate,” which makes New Year’s Eve a pretty exciting time around here. At midnight, you can witness a 600-pound electric MoonPie drop from the sky, complete with fireworks and a laser light show. Mobile’s big claim to fame is that it’s home to America’s original Mardi Gras. In the mid-1900s, locals started tossing sticky-sweet (but still-wrapped!) MoonPies from their Mardi Gras floats. Spectators went crazy for them and today an estimated half-million pies get tossed during an average Carnival season. Since Mobile loves a good party – and consumes more MoonPies per capita than anywhere else (including the pies’ hometown of Chattanooga) – its citizens decided to create the world’s largest electric MoonPie to help them usher in each new year. Mushroom Drop, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, which is part of the Brandywine Valley, is known as the “Mushroom Capital of the World” because more than 60% of all the mushrooms in the United States are grown here. Celebrate their nickname – and their favorite crop -- by dropping a 700-pound lighted mushroom on New Year’s Eve during the annual Midnight in the Square event. The mushroom will be raised right before 9 p.m. and the drop will be live-streamed across social media at midnight. Marlin Drop, Orange Beach, Alabama Gulf Shores Reelin' in the New Year at The Wharf The Wharf, a popular dining, shopping and entertainment district in the town of Orange Beach, is hosting Reelin’ in The New Year from 5 p.m. to midnight on December 31. The highlight of this event is the Marlin Drop, a fishy nod to one of the many outdoor activities that draw visitors here year round. It’s free admission for the drop, and the whole family can come and ring in the new year Gulf Coast-style. Apple Drop, Winchester, Virginia To celebrate the arrival of the new year, a 400-pound apple is dropped more than 100 feet during the First Night Winchester event. First Night Winchester has been a tradition in the Northern Shenandoah Valley since 1987. Winchester is known as the “Apple Capital” because it’s the largest apple-producing area in all of Virginia and home to countless apple orchards. Giant Acorn Drop, Raleigh, N.C. Courtesy firstnightraleigh.com Each December 31 a giant copper acorn, the official monument commemorating the bicentennial of “the City of Oaks,” is transported from Raleigh’s Moore Square to the roof of the Civic Center where it’s dropped to celebrate the New Year - First Night Raleigh. Clam Drop, Yarmouth, Maine On December 31, Yarmouth's First Universalist Church lowers a giant clam named Steamer 25 feet from the bell tower. The Clam Drop includes music, cookies and cocoa to stay warm. Giant Potato Drop, Boise, Idaho Courtesy mrfood.com This year will be the 9th annual Idaho Potato Drop in Boise, Idaho. From 1 p.m. to 1 a.m., ring in the new year with food trucks, a beer garden, fireworks, and of course, the potato drop in front of the Idaho State Capitol.

    Inspiration

    What did you do this summer vacation?

    It's that time of year. Across America, kids are heading back to school. And you know what that means. Right about now, millions of students are being asked, "What did you do on your summer vacation?" This question can be great if it gives you the opportunity to brag about a great trip to some far-flung destination, but less so when the farthest you traveled was a family reunion at your grandmother's condo the next town over. So how did you fare in 2010? Was it a good summer? If Labor Day weekend is any indication of how you traveled this season, many of you have reason to hold your heads high! As the economy continues to rebound, AAA released a report in late August estimating that numbers for the holiday weekend would be up across the board. According to the report, 34.4 million Americans traveled at least 50 miles from home, representing a 10% increase over the same weekend in 2009. Though over 90% of these travelers reached their destination by car, the airline industry was also predicted to see an increase of almost 5% over last summer. This summer, I managed a quick trip to Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, one of America's Coolest Small Towns, where I met the friendliest people, indulged in the tastiest Mexican ice cream at La Michoacana, and sampled crunchy mushroom chips at the Mushroom Cap. Granted, I didn't get too far away from home, but the relaxing small town experience was a welcome retreat. So class, what did you do this summer vacation?

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