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Friday, December 30, 2011 - 12:00pm

New Year's Eve Around Georgia

Atlanta’s annual New Year’s Eve Peach Drop takes its inspiration from the ball drop in New York’s Times Square. Now some smaller Georgia cities are taking their inspiration from Atlanta, and will be dropping symbolic items Saturday night as part of New Year’s Eve countdown celebrations.

In McDonough, residents will be dropping a five-foot geranium sculpture to honor the city’s symbol.

In Tallapoosa, a stuffed possum will drop. That’s because the town was once called Possum Snout. Macon is dropping a Cherry Blossom.

And Villa Rica’s festivities include dropping a seven-foot tall gold nugget. Kim Stovall is the city’s Main Street Manager.

She says the gold nugget represents the city’s mining heritage and will drop from something called a head frame that resembles an oil derrick.

“Head frames were used back in the gold mining days," Stovall said in an interview. "And we are going to drop this gold nugget. It’s going to drop 32 feet. And it takes about 45 seconds to drop from the top to the bottom, into a large wooden mining cart.”

The items typically honor the cities’ heritage. Mike Warren, one of the coordinators of McDonough's Geranium Drop, says the city's event will do something else as well. He says the event harkens back to past holiday celebrations on the town square, and hopefully it will bring awareness to the city's revitalization efforts.

“You know, something like this hasn’t gone on in the square since the 1940s," he said Friday. "They used to have a little event back then. It’s been so long ago that something’s going to happen like that – sort of a throwback. A local, city event that people can be involved in.”

This will be the first year for the McDonough and Villa Rica events. Atlanta has held the Peach Drop since 1989.