While Times Square may drop a giant flashing disco ball to ring in 2014, residents of Kennett Square, Penn., will have something entirely different to count down the final seconds of 2013 by: A giant, stainless steel mushroom.
That’s right, an eight-foot tall, 700-pound toadstool will majestically descend, via crane, to ring in the new year.
And while it may not be adorned with Waterford crystals, strobe lights and mirrors like Times Square’s famous ball, it is indeed a felicitous fungus. Kennett Square, after all, is known as “The Mushroom Capital of the World.” More than half of the nation’s mushroom crops are grown in the town’s southern Chester County.
The village holds an annual mushroom festival, complete with a mascot named "Fun GUS." And visitors to the town that’s mad about mushrooms can drop in downtown to The Mushroom Cap for mushroom films and exhibits, as well as fresh mushrooms and mushroom souvenirs. (Because who doesn’t want a mushroom snow globe?)
And if mushrooms aren’t your cup of tea, Pennsylvania offers plenty of other items to commemorate the end of the year. In fact, it’s the state with the most items dropped on Dec 31. Among the more than 50 towns that celebrate New Year’s Eve with odd items and gravity, there is Beaverton’s beaver drop, Dillsburg’s pickle drop, Lebanon’s 100-pound bologna drop, and Bethlehem’s massive marshmallow Peep drop.