Americans are really into dropping stuff. And what better way to ring out 2013 and welcome 2014 than by tossing a possum or two?
This goes deeper than Ryan Seacrest and a giant sparkling ball slowly falling in the middle of New York City’s Times Square hell-pit. All around the country, towns are getting ready to drop some really, truly bizarre stuff.
Here are some of the highlights.
Animals, Real and Imagined
- Tallapoosa, Ga., will be dropping the traditional stuffed possum at midnight. It’s name is Spencer, and PETA isn’t a big fan of the endeavor.
- After a North Carolina judge decided to let the event proceed despite PETA’s protests, a captured possum in a plastic box will drop in Brasstown at midnight. This live possum drop has happened every year for two decades.
- Marshall P. Muskrat, who is a stuffed muskrat, will soar over downtown Princess Anne, Md., on a zip line at midnight.
- Chuck, a 6-foot-tall fake chicken, will drop in Delta, Ohio, at midnight. “We couldn’t do a live one,” says Mabel Hudson, a committee chairman. “We would have had PETA out here.”
- A giant fake sardine will drop from a building in downtown Eastport, Maine.
- A hog sculpture will drop in Fayetteville, Ark.
- A 600-pound, 20-foot fiberglass fish named Wylie Walleye will drop in Port Clinton, Ohio. “When we’re going down I-75, the truck drivers are talking about Wylie the Walleye,” says the fish’s handler.
- Beavertown, Pa., drops a … stuffed beaver. Of course.
Foodstuffs and Fruit
- Plymouth, Wis., will drop the “big cheese” at midnight.
- A bit earlier in the evening, a doughnut will drop in Hagerstown, Md.’s public square.
- Miami will do something of a reverse drop, sending its “Big Orange” up the city’s Hotel InterContinental.
- A pineapple will drop in Sarasota, Fla. Catch video of a recent drop here.
- A giant peanut M&M and a giant peach will drop in Atlanta. Why an M&M? Because not even the wholesome New Year’s holiday drop can escape corporate sponsorship.
- Here’s a particularly fun event: Vincennes, Ind., will drop 14 watermelons at midnight, with “entertainment” from “comedian” Gallagher who is known as being funny for smashing watermelons with a mallet. Before the drop, there will be a Gallagher look-alike contest.
- A massive, glowing pickle will drop before midnight in Mount Olive, N.C.
- A 75-pound, light-up Peep will drop in Bethlehem, Pa.
- A giant, foam potato will drop in Boise, Idaho. The potato cost $10,000 to make.
If that’s not enough for you, there are always your nonfood, nonanimal options. Like in Key West, Fla., where a drag queen named Sushi will drop while sitting inside of a very large shoe. Happy New Year!
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Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz "will not have a major speaking role or preside over daily convention proceedings this week," and is under increasing pressure to resign. The DNC Rules Committee on Saturday named Ohio Democratic Rep. Marcia Fudge as "permanent chair of the convention." At issue: internal DNC emails leaked by Wikileaks that show how "the DNC favored Clinton during the primary and tried to take down Bernie Sanders by questioning his religion."
- A Rasmussen Reports poll shows Donald Trump ahead of Hillary Clinton, 43%-42%, the fourth week in a row he's led the poll (one of the few poll in which he's led consistently of late).
- A Reuters/Ipsos survey shows Clinton leading 40%-36%. In a four-way race, she maintains her four-point lead, 39%-35%, with Gary Johnson and Jill Stein pulling 7% and 3%, respectively.
- And the LA Times/USC daily tracking poll shows a dead heat, with Trump ahead by about half a percentage point.
In an election between two candidates around 70 years of age, millennials strongly prefer one over the other. Hillary Clinton has a 47%-30% edge among votes 18 to 29. She also leads 46%-36% among voters aged 30 to 44.
According to an online tracking poll released by New Latino Voice, Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump among Latino voters, attracting support from 81 percent of Latino voters, to just 12 percent support for Trump. The results of this poll are consistent with those from a series of other surveys conducted by various organizations. With Pew Research predicting the 2016 electorate will be 12 percent Hispanic, which would be the highest ever, Trump could be in serious trouble if he can't close the gap.