New Year celebrations take on many forms, but in times past all eyes were on the ball that dropped in New York Times Square. Today the drop takes on many forms. I heard about a few in South Central Pennsylvania this week. The drop usually is something commonly known about the town, for instance, the candy kiss in Hershey or the pickle in Dillsburg. There is the strawberry in Harrisburg for the famed Strawberry Square shopping area, the white rose in York and the red rose in Lancaster.
To the outsider Mt Gretna may be known for its quaint cottages or its decorated porches, but to those who reside there know that there is a common nuisance that plagues the quiet beauty of this resort tucked away among tall, old trees.
We arrived just after 3:30 on New Year’s Eve, the same time the buzzards were coming in to roost. By 4:30 many of them had found their spot for the night. In every tree.
We were introduced the likeness of the buzzard who was to be dropped by our hosts, Kay and Tom. They had prepared a specially made holiday perch, hung announcements about the town and made a festive sign for their porch.
Dick and Tom prepare for the drop early in the evening.
It’s said that the birds are drawn to roosting here because the roof tops from the concentrated area of houses provide a measure of warmth that is inviting to the buzzards. They show up every November and over stay their welcome into March. The droppings are just one reason the people in Mt Gretna would like to drop a buzzard, but they are a protected bird.
Inside the feasting is about to begin.
Just before midnight the crowd gathers. In all we estimated about 50 people came out for this first.
Ten, nine, eight, seven
HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!!
This young girl was given the choice of seeing the Hershey Kiss, the Cornwall cannon ball or the buzzard drop. We thought she was pretty special for choosing the buzzard. Next year we will see a bigger and better buzzard drop.
Inside it was time for some bubbly and a toast. No one in our group of four couples were real keen on the taste of Champagne, we had each asked for “just a little.” Then I added some strawberries and drowned them sparkling grape juice. It was a big hit. I love my mixed drinks. We had a happy and safe New Year’s Eve Celebration and are wishing each of you a good, healthy and prosperous New Year.