As students head home this holiday season, you may get bored without the myriad of things to do on campus. So instead of watching the ball drop on TV or seeing fireworks in your hometown, why don’t you try something new? All across the country, people will be bringing in 2010 with flair. Here are some ideas on how to shake up your New Years.
Watch an odd ball drop
Forget the ball drop in New York City. People across the country drop all kinds of things on New Years, and Florida has some crazy traditions. In Key West, Sloppy Joe’s Bar drops a conch shell at midnight. Also on Duval Street, Bourbon St. Pub will celebrate their 13th year of the notorious Red High Heel Drop. Local drag queen Sushi is lowered down from the roof of the bar on the stroke of midnight in a giant rouge pump. You could head on over to the Schooner Wharf Bar, where a pirate wench is lowered from the mast of a tall ship while cannons are blasted.
Florida too far? In Elmore, Ohio they lower an 18-foot sausage to celebrate the New Year. Making you hungry? In Lebanon, Penn. they lower bologna that is actually edible. The bologna gets bigger and bigger each year. In 2008, it was a 150 pounds and 12-feet long. Of course, we can’t forget the sweetest drop of them all. The “Peach Drop” takes place annually in Atlanta, Ga. at Underground Atlanta–it’s the second largest New Years event in the country!
Visit a Historical Society
Some societies let you re-live the past before bringing in the New Year. In Rhode Island, Astors’ Beechwood Mansion is holding a New Year’s Eve Murder Mystery party. The Web site suggests that guests sit down to watch a performance of “Romeo and Juliet,” which is interrupted midway by the death of a guest. Guests will spend the night searching the premises for clues as everybody tries to find out the murderer. If that seems too tame, you can always head out to a club for a Roaring ’20s party. They’re happening all over the country, including Bourbon and Branch in San Francisco and Lumen in Chicago, which will include prohibition posters, speakeasy-style gambling and a live three-piece brass band among other ’20s necessities.
Practice some wacky worldly traditions
Whether you’re willing to travel or wanting to stay at home, you can still celebrate New Year’s Eve in a worldly way. Go Dutch! Jump off a chair at midnight like they do in Denmark in an effort to expel evil spirits. If you’d rather be close to the dead at the stroke of 12 visit Talca, Chile. For the past decade, people there have been going to the town cemetery to celebrate the New Year with their deceased relatives and friends. People in Mexico also like to reconnect with spirits on New Year’s. Too morbid? Do as the Germans do and watch “Dinner for One,” a British TV skit that Germans watch every New Year which, ironically enough, has never been aired in an English-speaking country.
Have fun this New Year’s Eve and don’t be afraid to get a little crazy. After your night of revelry, you’re going to want to cool off–so take a Polar Bear Plunge. All across the country on New Year’s Day, people run into the freezing waters of local lakes, rivers and oceans. It’s the perfect way to wear off your hangover, and many polar bear dips are done to raise money for charities and causes. Think of it as your first good deed of the New Year you’ve just celebrated.