Curt Yeomans covers government for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached at via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Perhaps Georgia has gotten a little carried away with having things fall — or in some cases rise up — when a new year arrives.
In various places across the state, a peach, a stuffed possum, a chicken nugget and a geranium will fall when 2013 arrives. Meanwhile, a pair of mannequin butts will be raised up poles when the current year ends in one nearby community. A winged disco ball will also take flight in metro Atlanta.
Everyone knows about the Peach Drop at Underground Atlanta. It’s a local tradition dating back at least a couple of decades. It was Georgia’s answer to New York City’s Ball Drop.
There are plenty of options for people who want to ring in 2013 with a crowd of people without being in a very crowded Underground Atlanta for the Peach Drop. These events are intended to celebrate the communities or businesses where they are held.
Here are some other options for celebrating New Years in Georgia.
Truett’s Grill Nugget Drop
1785 Jonesboro Road
7 p.m. until Midnight
This is the longer running and more established of Henry County’s two New Year’s Eve traditions. It includes bungee jumping, a disc jockey, milkshake and chicken nugget eating contests, a photo booth, inflatable play areas, fireworks and a play area for very young children. It all culminates in to the annual dropping of a chicken nugget into fake honey mustard sauce at midnight. It may be a bit of a head turner, but give them credit for originality because it is a clever play on Truett’s menu and the tradition of dropping something on New Year’s Eve.
The Geranium Drop
8 p.m. until midnight
This event, which is in its second year, is the younger and less established of Henry County’s New Year’s traditions. It merits noting because it’s a local event and it ties into the city’s annual Geranium Festival. (It doesn’t hurt its cause that Henry Daily Herald is hosting it, either.) People are invited to bring their blankets, lawn chairs and coolers so they can enjoy live music, eat at local restaurants on the square. It all culminates with geraniums dropping down a pole at midnight.
The Possum Drop
7 p.m. until 1 a.m.
God bless the people of Tallapoosa because this has got to be the most unusual celebration in Georgia. It certainly has got to be the ultimate redneck New Year’s celebration. The town’s leaders drop a stuffed possum named “Spencer” in a cage at midnight. They also crown their Possum King and Possum Queen. Just imagine the serenading that goes on with someone singing “There they are, your Possum King and Queen.”
There are other activities, including live music, food, street vendors and hot chocolate but that’s honestly just gravy when compared to the fact that they are cheering on a dead animal that — if it were alive — would hiss at everyone in the crowd.
Butts County “Butt Lift”
Wing Depot on Jackson Lake
278 Marina Circle, Jackson
$25 per person
There’s nothing quite like starting a new year by mooning an entire community. According to the Jackson Progress-Argus, a sister publication of Clayton News Daily and Henry Daily Herald, some folks in Butts County are planning to have some unconventional fun with their county’s name and New Year’s traditions of several cities. They are going to raise a pair of mannequin butts up a flagpole at midnight during a pay-to-attend party. Butt-related songs will be played during the party. While a lot of things are hoisted on a pole on New Year’s Eve, perhaps a pair of booties is taking things a little too far, regardless of the county’s name and the cleverness involved. However, anyone wanting to attend this event should call 770-504-9422.
New Year’s Eve Crawl
Historic Downtown Duluth
6 p.m. until 12:30 a.m.
This may be the most kitschy New Year’s celebration in metro Atlanta, if not the entire country. There is nothing wrong with having a winter carnival, a disc jockey, live music, tailgating and food vendors. However, this is the same thing with the Butts County booties. Couldn’t they come up with something better to raise up a poll at midnight besides a winged disco ball?
Cherry Blossom Ball Drop
Cherry Street Plaza, Macon
7 p.m. until Midnight
This celebration, labeled “The Pinkest Party on Earth,” ties into the fact that Macon hosts an annual springtime Cherry Blossom Festival. It includes free activities for children from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. A New Year’s Eve Party then commences from 9 p.m. until midnight and culminates with the dropping of a Cherry Blossom Ball and a fireworks finale.
Curt Yeomans is the Senior Reporter for the Clayton News Daily and an avid traveler. He can be reached at 770-478-5753, ext. 247 or via e-mail at email@example.com.