From Opossums to Bologna: Weird Things Cities Drop on New Year’s Eve

Who needs a ball? Cities get creative on New Year’s Eve by dropping objects that reflect local products and culture

The Watermelon Drop in Vincennes, Indiana (Vincennes)
smithsonian.com

Big Orange: Miami, Florida

(Bayfront Park Management Trust)

On New Year's Eve, Miami gives a nod to Florida's citrus industry by raising a giant neon orange to the top of the Hotel InterContinental. Dubbed "La Gran Naranja," or "The Big Orange," the 35-foot neon fruit must ascend 400 feet to reach the hotel's apex. Once it gets there, precisely at midnight, fireworks shoot out across the Biscayne Bay. 

The orange was commissioned 28 years ago by the Greater Miami Host Committee, who hoped that something like it might inspire families to stay in downtown Miami for the holiday. The resulting celebration has been dubbed the "Times Square of the South," and features an orange designed by Steve Carpenter, whose neon designs have also been featured in films and shows such as Miami ViceThe Fast and Furious, "CSI:Miami" and Marley and Me, among others.

This year, the countdown celebration will include a musical performances by Pitbull.

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