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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.
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?
More Places to go
Wilmington (Lenape: Paxahakink / Pakehakink) is the largest and most populous city in the U.S. state of Delaware.
Delaware County, colloquially referred to as Delco, is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania that borders Philadelphia. With a population of 566,747, it is the fifth most populous county in Pennsylvania, and the third smallest in area. The county was created on September 26, 1789, from part of Chester County, and named for the Delaware River. Its county seat is Media. Until 1850, Chester was the county seat of Delaware County and, before that, of Chester County. Delaware County is adjacent to the city-county of Philadelphia and is included in the Philadelphia–Camden–Wilmington, PA–NJ–DE–MD Metropolitan Statistical Area. Delaware County is the only county covered in its entirety by area codes 610 and 484.
The Village of Valley Forge is an unincorporated settlement located on the west side of Valley Forge National Historical Park at the confluence of Valley Creek and the Schuylkill River in Pennsylvania, United States. The remaining village is in Schuylkill Township of Chester County, but once spanned Valley Creek into Montgomery County. The name Valley Forge is often used to refer to anywhere in the general vicinity of the park, and many places actually in King of Prussia, Trooper, Oaks, and other nearby communities will use the name, leading to some ambiguity on the actual location of the modern village. There is a partial re-creation of the historic village from the time of the American Revolution that is located next door, and just within the outskirts of the park. Valley Forge is known by travelers in the Philadelphia area as the westbound control city on Interstate 76 (the Schuylkill Expressway), as it is near where I-76 joins the Pennsylvania Turnpike. This remains, despite no exit being designated for Valley Forge, since the previous exit became the off-ramp to Mall Boulevard, serving King of Prussia.
Chesapeake City is a town in Cecil County, Maryland, United States. The population was 673 at the 2010 census. The town was originally named by Bohemian colonist Augustine Herman the Village of Bohemia — or Bohemia Manor — but the name was changed in 1839 after the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal (C&D Canal) was built in 1829. Today, the town contains numerous old homes from that era that have been converted into bed and breakfasts, restaurants and the local historical museum.