A recent article in USA Today outlines city celebrations for the New Year that mirror the big ball drop in New York Times Square.
For example, did you know that Atlanta drops an 800-pound peach? The Hard Rock Cafe drops a ten-foot guitar in Memphis. The home city for the maker of the Easter favorite Peeps candy drops a 400-pound Peeps Chick and goes a step further with an annual PeepsFest in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. There are more examples of communities throughout the country that perform New Years drops of culturally significant icons to mark the beginning of the New Year.
It's clear that Astoria must close the "Drop Gap" by doing the same.
But questions are two: What to drop and from what do we drop it?
We could follow the long-standing example taken from a convenience store in Clay's Corner, North Carolina which has for many years dropped a live possum which, while controversial because it involves a live animal, as continued long after the store that began the tradition closed up and has been abandoned for quite some time.
While more than a few would like to see a seal drop here, the animal is not only protected but is largely uncooperative in such matters.
In seriously considering this idea it has been suggested that an artistically stylized 400-pound Chinook Salmon be ceremoniously dropped from the Astoria Column touching the ground at precisely midnight launching a brief explosion of fireworks. It's also thought that perhaps the drop should take place off the Megler Bridge using a scale model of the Astoria Trolley appropriately lit.
It's going to take some more thought but ultimately whatever is dropped and from where it is dropped should say something about our community and it's proud history.
Happy New Year!