Three, two, one…Happy New Year! People all over the world celebrate New Year’s Eve, but the Happy Traveler knows no one drops more unusual items than Pennsylvanians. From a Marshmallow Peep in Bethlehem to a pickle in Dillsburg, celebrate Dec. 31 in style and experience some of the best places to ring in the New Year. Get ready to say hello to 2018 and a welcome another prolific year of pursuing your happiness in Pennsylvania at our unique New Year’s Eve drops across the state.
Mushroom - Philadelphia and the Countryside
Bring in the New Year at the “Mushroom Capital of the World,” Kennett Square. For the fifth time ever, a 700-pound stainless steel mushroom will be lowered to count down the New Year as a nod to the town’s acres of fungus fields. The “Midnight in the Square” event will feature music, food and entertainment and will culminate with the mushroom drop at midnight.
Marshmallow Peep® - Lehigh Valley
For a truly one-of-a-kind New Year’s Eve celebration, First Night® Bethlehem “peeps” with pride. Start the evening by experiencing the celebration spanning downtown and offering artistic and cultural entertainment for young and old, sponsored by the non-profit ArtsQuest. Enjoy a wide variety of music and art before watching the signature Marshmallow Peep® travel down toward the excited crowd, ringing in the New Year as only Bethlehem can.
Hershey’s Kiss - Dutch Country Roads
Begin the New Year at the “Sweetest Place on Earth!®” The Hershey’s Kiss Raise is ranked second by USA Today Travel for great places for a family-friendly New Year’s Eve. This well-known chocolate town pulls out all the stops for its New Year’s Eve in Hershey event. At 11:59 p.m., a Hershey’s Kiss is raised amongst a sweet-toothed crowd, and a midnight fireworks display completes a family-friendly night in beautiful downtown Hershey.
Bologna - Dutch Country Roads
It wouldn’t be New Year’s Eve in central Pennsylvania without a famous Pennsylvania Dutch treat descending from the sky. Join the excitement in Lebanon as crowds count down the seconds with the famous 16-foot Lebanon Bologna coming to a stop at the stroke of midnight. Start off the year by being amazed, amused and maybe even hungry.
Pickle - Dutch Country Roads
Although Dillsburg has nothing to do with pickles, the town sure does know how to have fun with its name. Get into a real “pickle” as Dillsburg celebrates its annual Pickle Drop at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. Once the delicious dill has descended into the barrel, the party continues with a fireworks display lasting until 12:30 a.m.
Button - Dutch Country Roads
Carlisle celebrates New Year’s Eve by encouraging visitors and residents to design a button that will be dropped at the annual First Night Carlisle event. The final result is a 50-pound, aluminum-framed button that is accented with LED lights.The theme for this year’s button drop is “First Night in CARlisle, Celebrating 20 Years.” Beginning at 6 p.m., the First Night Carlisle celebration will include live music performances and art exhibits, and it will close with a fantastic fireworks display.
Yuengling Beer Bottle - Upstate PA
New Year's Eve in Pottsville is marked by the raising of the Yuengling© beer bottle to the top of the flagpole at Garfield Square. Ring in the New Year with a toast to the oldest brewery in America.
Strawberry - Dutch Country Roads
The New Year’s Eve celebration in Harrisburg hosts a crowd of thousands in the state’s capital. At 60 seconds before midnight, a giant, lit strawberry starts its descent from the top of the downtown Hilton Harrisburg to ring in the New Year. The evening includes live entertainment, dancing, children’s arts and crafts and fireworks.
Beaver - Valleys of the Susquehanna
Watch Bucky the Beaver descend from the sky this New Year in Beavertown in the Susquehanna River Valley. This life-size beaver got his name from a community contest that was held before the event’s second year. He is held in the air by a 75-foot ladder and slowly lowered to the ground, landing at midnight.
Kettle - Valleys of the Susquehanna
The fourth McClure Kettle Drop New Year’s Eve Celebration at the McClure Fire Hall is sure to be an entertaining community event for the whole family. Ring in the New Year with food, dancing and activities for the kids, and watch the lowering of the cast-iron kettle at midnight in honor of the historic McClure Bean Soup Festival and Fair Celebration.
Recycled Ball - Pittsburgh and its Countryside
Join the city of Pittsburgh for First Night 2018 as it ushers in the New Year with a ball raise minutes before midnight, followed by a spectacular fireworks show. The “Future of Pittsburgh” ball is a 1,000-pound, illuminated orb made entirely of recycled materials, symbolizing Pittsburgh’s continuous efforts to be a “green” city. A kickoff celebration for the New Year’s festivities begins at 6 p.m., followed by the Highmark First Night Parade at 8 p.m., accompanied by ongoing comedic, musical and theatre performances throughout the evening.
Red Rose - Dutch Country Roads
Lancaster starts the New Year when its signature red rose ascends at Binns Park. Symbolic of the War of Roses between Lancaster and York, the red rose celebration starts early and lasts through the evening. With more than 20 indoor performances, Countdown Lancaster is a family-oriented event filled with visual and performing entertainment ending in a midnight fireworks display.
White Rose - Dutch Country Roads
Attendees of York’s New Year’s Eve celebration are sure to have a blast bringing in 2018. Enjoy a children’s countdown to the balloon drop from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m., with complimentary hats and noisemakers, perfect for the youngsters. Join the crowd in smelling roses all the way until midnight as a white rose descends from the sky in Continental Square, symbolic of the War of Roses between Lancaster and York.
Wrench - Dutch Country Roads
The town celebrates the New Year from 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. with the annual dropping of a wrench on Main Street. The tradition commemorates the borough’s founders — mechanics who settled in the area to make and repair wagons in the early 19th century.
Sled - Dutch Country Roads
Duncannon Borough brings in the New Year with its annual Sled Drop at midnight, during a fireworks display. The 10-foot sled used is a model of the famous Lightning Guider sled manufactured at the Standard Sled Factory in Duncannon from 1904 until 1990. Festivities are from 10 p.m. to midnight.