Town giant mushroom to star in local New Year's Eve celebration(Read article summary)
Town giant mushroom: Kennet Sation, Pa.'s town giant mushroom will be the star of local New Year's Eve celebration. Several towns have adopted similarly quirky New Year's traditions.
Jason Vorhees/The Macon Telegraph/AP
Rarely is it a joyful experience to have a giant fungus among us but in one Pennsylvania town a giant mushroom will drop on the populace to ring in 2014, reminding us that traditions donâ€™t have to be old â€“ they just have to be memorable.
â€śIâ€™d hate to see the toad that comes next,â€ť was my 10-year-old sonâ€™s reaction to hearing that a 700-pound, stainless steel toadstool will be lowered from a crane Dec. 31Â as residents of Kennett Square, Pa. count down to the New Year.
The town's giant mushroom sculpture will be more than 7 feet wide and 8 feet tall, a nod to the townâ€™s share of the national mushroom market. The areaâ€™s farms account for about half of US mushroom production, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
In other New Year news, the town of Perry, Ga. is going to drop a buzzard in honor of the annual buzzard migration there.
â€śNew York City may host the Apple Drop ... and Georgiaâ€™s own Atlanta will host the pride of the Peach Stateâ€™s Peach Drop,â€ť Faircloth told the Macon Telegraph. â€śHowever, here in Perry, we were thinking of something more original.â€ť
Pennsylvania really has the drop on other states when it comes to New Yearâ€™s Eve countdowns:Â Lebanon, Pa. drops bologna,Â Bethlehem lowers an 85-pound statue of a Marshmallow Peep, Easton drops a 10-foot-tall lighted crayon because the city is home to Crayola Inc.
Learning this prompted me to call our cityâ€™s PR manager, Lori Crouch and ask about The City of Norfolkâ€™s New Yearâ€™s Eve plans, â€śAre we ever gonna drop a mega mermaid at midnight?â€ť
Our city motto after all is â€śLife celebrated dailyâ€ť and our symbol is the mermaid, so this was a perfectly reasonable thing to ask.
To my surprise she paused as if Iâ€™d stumbled on a major state secret and she had to weigh the answer.
â€śWell, actually, we just might,â€ť Ms. Crouch answered. â€śFestevents has been talking about creating a New Yearâ€™s Eve event and there have been discussions about what we would drop. A mermaid is actually a great idea.â€ť
We didnâ€™t discuss if the mermaid would be liveÂ (an actress in costume)Â like the Brasstown possum or one of the 300, larger than life, 8-foot mermaid sculptures that currently decorate our cityâ€™s streets.
Personally, New Yearâ€™s has never been my holiday because Iâ€™m a homebody, alcohol-based partying has never been my thing, and as I get older I tend to hate to let go of each year.
However, as a mom I have found a great deal of value in embracing as many new traditions as possible for my boys to enjoy.
As my kids get older I think more about what traditions of ours they will carry on and I worry that I havenâ€™t celebrated life enough with them.
So in the past few years I have begun to add our own quirky new holiday twists to remember their childhoods by.
I wrote a childrenâ€™s book for Thanksgiving â€śPardon me, itâ€™s ham, not turkey,â€ť about the fact that Virginia and not Plymouth, Ma. was the true site of the nationâ€™s first Thanksgiving and the menu was different.
That year we had ham for Thanksgiving, got the school principal to kiss a piglet named Ginny (for Virginia), met President George W. Bush when he came to Berkeley Plantation to celebrate the true location of the feast, and in the process got head-butted by the then-president.
At the time the Secret Service agent told my son Ian, then age 11, â€śThatâ€™s the Presidential forehead touch and he only does it with people he really likes.â€ť
Uh-huh. Three forehead bonks later Ian asked, â€śIs this going to be our new tradition? Do we do ham and head butts now?â€ť
Short answer was, â€śNo, but we can tell this story every year at Thanksgiving dinner.â€ť
Thatâ€™s what holidays are really all about, not the perfect dinner or Rockwell-worthy gathering, but the memorable tales we share about the experiences be they mushroom, moon pie, or mermaid.