Can you believe that 2014 is almost here? And with a new year comes a celebration of our favorite New Year’s Eve traditions. Here in Eastern North Carolina, it seems there’s never a shortage of fun ways to ring in the new year. Sure, you could sit at home and watch the ball drop in Times Square, but why celebrate with people on TV when you can get out of the house and start 2014 with a little silliness and good cheer.
Here’s a list of our top 5 favorite New Year’s Eve traditions in Eastern North Carolina.
1) Morehead City’s 3rd annual Crab Pot Drop
Where: Katherine Davis Park, Morehead City (Arendell and 6th street)
When: Dec. 31, 9 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.
About: Offering live music from Carolina Beach Club and fireworks at midnight. This budding new tradition in Carteret County has fun for all ages as a fully decorated and illuminated crab pot is dropped from the sky.
2) Mt. Olive Pickle Drop
Where: Corner of Cucumber & Vine, Mount Olive
When: Dec. 31, 6-7 p.m.
About: An illuminated 3-foot pickle drops down the Mt. Olive Pickle Company’s flagpole and into a perfectly preserved redwood pickle tank. Also includes free refreshments, including Mt. Olive pickles, and live music by The Harmony Boys from 6-6:50 p.m. and Dr. Alan Armstrong on the bagpipes.
3) Beaufort’s Buccaneer’s New Year’s Eve Celebration
Where: Front Street, Historic Downtown Beaufort
When: Dec. 31, 5-7 p.m.
About: Offering fun for all ages, this pirate-inspired New Year’s Eve celebration includes marshmallow roasts, chalk drawing, a pinata, hot drinks and a pirate drop. How does a “pirate drop” work? Argh … he walks the plank!
4) Oriental Dragon Run and Croaker Drop
Where: Hodges Street, Oriental
When: Dec. 31, 8 p.m. to midnight
About: Visitors line the streets for a chance to win some good luck in 2014 by touching a large Chinese dragon that makes its way down the street. A second dragon run follows at 11:30 p.m. as spectators cheer it along with a symphony of clanging pots and pans. And then, because it wouldn’t be an Eastern North Carolina tradition without some sort of seafood, the Oriental Croaker will drop from the mast of a sailboat on the waterfront.
5) 2nd annual New Year’s Eve Gala Ball
Where: Stanly Ballroom, downtown New Bern
When: Dec. 31
About: Dance the night away during a semi-formal New Year’s Eve gala in the Stanly Ballroom, a grand ballroom from the 1890s, complete with beautiful chandeliers, 30-foot ceilings, massive curved windows and a marvelous staircase. Heavy hors’dourves are included and alcohol is BYOB. Space is very limited so call ahead to ensure tickets are still available.
So, how will you spend your last night in 2013?