New Year's Eve traditions take local twists with unique ball drops
The Sardine Drop
Ever wonder why we drop the ball -- or other objects -- to welcome the New Year? Read about the history behind this wholly American tradition
Once a hub for the sardine industry, the most eastern city in the U.S. pays tribute to its past. The last sardine factory closed in 1982, but residents gather at the Tides Institute
in downtown Eastport, Maine, to drop a sardine
The tradition began in 2002 as a way to re-energize a downtown that had seen better days. Unlike some cities’ glitzy fanfare, Eastport has deliberately kept their celebrations low-budget. A volunteer brass band joins up just for the occasion.
Eastport also drops a maple leaf at 11 p.m. in honor of their close Canadian neighbors, whose New Year comes one hour earlier.