moon pies

The city of Mobile, Ala., will celebrate the beginning of 2011 by dropping a giant MoonPie to the ground.

The Times Square ball gets all the publicity, but it’s not the only thing being dropped on Dec. 31 — and we’re not talking bad habits.

Seems like almost every city — big and small — marks the new year by dropping something from a tall building or a crane.

For instance, the city of Memphis, Tenn., will honor its musical heritage and the beginning of 2011 by dropping a giant illuminated Les Paul guitar from scaffolding alongside the Hard Rock Cafe on Beale Street…

Eyewitnesses say the guitar is about 10 feet long but, sadly, can’t be strummed.

Meanwhile, Traverse City, Mich., the self-proclaimed cherry capital of the world, will drop a giant cherry for the second year in a row.

According to Dean Rose, one of the organizers of the “Cherry-T Ball Drop,” the official name of the event (because it’s a fundraiser for charity — get it?), says the fruity idea took root last year when one of his friends thought a cherry-themed New Year’s celebration would be fun and fitting.

It also helped that another friend had a crane.

Last year’s cherry was a giant rubber ball about 6 feet in length.

“It had some issues in the wind,” Rose told AOL News. “We’re on the Great Lakes, so we get weather here.”

This year, the cherry is bigger — around 10 to 15 feet in diameter — and made from aluminum and built so the wind can go through it.

Chatham, Mass., also has plans to hook people to its New Year’s celebration. Ever since 2007, the festivities have been highlighted by having a giant cod drop down to signal the new year.

Rich Clifford, who built the 9.5-foot fish out of aluminum crystal, says the colossal cod will descend 60 feet down to Oyster Pond Beach.

It took him six months to build the fish, which is internally lit — and, chances are, the folks watching it will be too.

Other cities with their own version of the Times Square ball:

  • Lebanon, Pa., will ring in the new year by dropping a 7-foot-long bologna from a tall building.
  • Residents of Mobile, Ala., will witness the plunge of a lighted 12-foot, 600-poundMoonPie down the side of a 34-story building.
  • Port Clinton, Ohio, residents will celebrate at midnight when a 20-foot, 600-pound fiberglass walleye fish drops from a tall crane.
  • Eastport, Maine, and New Brunswick, Canada, will have an international flavor to their New Year’s parties. Eastport shares a bay with the Canadian province and during the annual New Year’s Eve celebration, a giant red maple leaf is lowered from the top floor window of a museum in downtown Eastport at 11 p.m. local time to ring in the Canadian New Year. Then at midnight an 8-foot-long, realistically painted wooden sardine drops from the window to ring in the American New Year.
  • Key West, Fla., has two big droppings to ring in the new year; Schooner Wharf will drop a pirate wench into the ocean at 12 sharp, and a drag queen named Sushi will drop from one end of the town in the other in a pair of high-heeled shoes.
  • Atlanta traditionally drops a giant 800-pound peach at midnight. This year is no exception, but to add to the festivities, Tito Jackson will be performing and his mother, Katherine Jackson, will be there to watch his show.

Sadly, not every city will be able to celebrate the end of 2010 by dropping a giant something from the sky. Nashville, Ga., planned to drop a 1,000-pound cotton ball, but a spokeswoman says the event was canceled because none of the downtown buildings can handle something that heavy.