"New Year's Drops:
On New Year's Eve, many localities in America mark the beginning of a year through the raising or lowering of an object. Many of these events are patterned off festivities that have been held at New York City's Times Square since 1908, where a large crystal ball is lowered down a pole atop One Times Square (beginning its decent at 11:59 p.m. local time, and concluding at midnight). In turn, the event was inspired by the time balls used by ship navigators in the 19th century to calibrate their chronometers. Whilst some of these events use a ball in imitation of Times Square, many "drops" utilize objects that represent an aspect of local culture, geography, or history. Ball drops are by far the most common in, but not exclusive to, the United States
Atlantic Time Zone:
- St. George's, Bermuda: A paper-mache Bermuda onion covered in Christmas lights is dropped.
North American Eastern Time Zone:
- Key West, Florida (Sloppy Joe's Bar): The Key West Conch Drop, where a six-foot Queen Conch Shell drops 20 feet to the top of the bar to usher in the New Year, is held annually for the island's official New Year celebrations.
- Orlando, Florida: The Annual Church Street Entertainment New Year’s Eve Street Party includes "a huge video wall, confetti cannons, fireworks, and the tradition of the Orange Drop high above Church Street".
- Sarasota, Florida: A glowing pineapple is dropped at midnight to ring in the new year in southwest Florida".
- Kokomo, Indiana: An aluminum 70-pound Ball with 34,000 lights is dropped during The Kokomo Downtown Association New Year’s Eve Celebration.
- Muncie, Indiana: A ball is dropped.
- Bangor, Maine: A beach ball covered in Christmas lights has been thrown off the top of a local restaurant since 2005.
- Baltimore, Maryland: A disco ball is dropped.
- Grand Rapids, Michigan: A six-foot diameter steel ball is dropped for the WZZM Ball Drop in Rosa Parks Circle. The ball was built by GLC Metal Fabricators Inc. in Ludington with help from Harsco, covered in LED lights done by Tye's Signs in Scottville. A crane raises the ball 160 feet into the air before lowering it slowly into its position for the countdown.
- Kalamazoo, Michigan: A recyclable ball has been dropped since 2009.
- Ludington, Michigan: A 6’ 5” diameter ball lit up with thousands of lights is lowered on a countdown to midnight.
- Royal Oak, Michigan: A ball is dropped at midnight.
- Traverse City, Michigan: A cherry is dropped at midnight.
New York holds many elaborate drops, particularly the ball drop at Times Square. The state falls in second place for the most items dropped on New Year's Eve.
- Buffalo, New York: A lighted ball is dropped, at one time along with a Ford Edge automobile.The Buffalo Ball Drop (formerly the 97 Rock Ball Drop) is advertised to be the third-largest in the country, with 40,000 in attendance during a typical year. It was nearly canceled in 2010 (due mainly to the effects of the late 2000s recession) before a last-minute sponsorship drive brought in the necessary funds to carry out the festivities.
- Cheektowaga, New York: A ball is dropped during the day on New Year's Eve to offer an alternative for families.
- Hamburg, New York: A ball is dropped.
- New York City (Times Square): The most famous ball dropped is a 11,875 pounds (5,386 kg) Waterford Crystal ball. The Times Square Ball was previously metal and, during the 1980s, an illuminated apple. The ball used to be lit by halogen lamps, but LED has been used since 2008. In 2009 the ball became a permanent fixture year-round atop One Times Square. Over a million people gather each year to see the famous drop, which lasts for one minute. For the 1999-2000 ball drop, there were two million in attendance.
- North Tonawanda, New York: A ball is dropped as part of New Year's on the Canal.
- Orchard Park, New York: A ball is dropped.
- Wilson, New York: Two balls are dropped, one at 9 p.m. and the other at midnight.
Pennsylvania is the state where the most objects are dropped on New Year's Eve.
- Bradford, Pennsylvania: The ball drop was discontinued for 2011 but brought back for 2012.
- East Petersburg, Pennsylvania: A large "Haydn's Jug" is dropped.
- Halifax, Pennsylvania: A Hemlock tree is dropped.
- Liverpool, Pennsylvania: A canal boat is dropped.
- Media, Pennsylvania: A ball is dropped.
- Manheim, Pennsylvania: A ball is raised.
- McClure, Pennsylvania: A kettle is dropped in honor of McClure Bean Soup Festival.
- Palmyra, Pennsylvania: "The Giant Shoe" is dropped.
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: A ball representing the planet earth, made of recycled materials, was raised for 2007.
- Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania: See below.
- Gatlinburg, Tennessee: A ball is dropped.
- Charlottesville, Virginia: A ball is dropped.
US Central Time Zone:
- Fairhope, Alabama: A ball is dropped. The event was cancelled in 2010, but resumed in time to ring in 2011.
- Wetumpka, Alabama: A meteorite is dropped at the Old Courthouse at 11pm Central Time in honor of the meteorite that hit the River City. At the stroke of midnight, a big fireworks display takes place over the river.
- Fort Walton Beach, Florida: A ball is dropped
- Des Plaines, Illinois: A diamond is dropped
- Cedar Falls, Iowa: A large cedar is lowered by a chain.
- Columbus, Mississippi: An illuminated 10-foot wide by 10-foot tall lit aluminum ball is hoisted over College Street 100 feet high as part of the "Having a Ball Downtown Block Party".
- Bartlesville, Oklahoma: An olive is dropped.
- Oklahoma City: A lighted ball is raised during Opening Night.
Tennessee (Central and Western):
- Memphis, Tennessee: A guitar is dropped
- Austin, Texas: Families in the Austin Woods neighborhood traditionally celebrate the new year with large illuminated new year's balls hung from trees, which are lowered at varying times during New Year's Eve. Downtown, a Lone Star was dropped until 2006, then replaced with a simple mirrored ball.
- McAllen, Texas: A giant mirrored ball descends just before midnight. The first orb for 2008 was six feet in diameter, but in 2009 McAllen's big bash was expanded to include a bigger crowd (10,000 attended), a bigger party space and the bigger "Texas-sized" ball used ever since.
- Plymouth, Wisconsin: Plymouth drops an 80-pound decorated cheese wedge, the newest Wisconsin cheese, from a 100 ft. ladder truck in a tribute to the region's dairy industry and dairy products. The Plymouth Arts Center hosts the annual “Build Your Own New Year’s Party” next to the Creamery Building's parking lot where "The Big Cheese Drop" takes place
- Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin: A carp (real but dead) caught by local fishers and weighing between 25 and 30 pounds is lowered. A carp was chosen to represent the area's fishing industry and because the carp is considered one of the luckiest fish in Chinese culture. The carp, nicknamed “Lucky”, is lowered onto a throne. Each “Lucky” has a tree planted where it is buried with a commemorative plaque listing the carp's name and year.
US Mountain Time Zone: