12/05/2014 05:56 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

On New Year's in North Carolina, They Drop a Live Possum Instead of a Ball

Throughout the years, there have been hundreds of variations on the classic New Year's ball drop. Georgia drops a peach, Pennsylvania drops a Liberty Bell, and MTV even once dropped Mark Wahlberg's pants. But in Brasstown, North Carolina, they drop a live possum.. for real.

The whole weird thing is the brainchild of Logan Corner Store owner Clay Logan, who came up with the idea some 22 years ago after concluding that the possum was Brasstown's official mascot.. and hey, why not drop it from the roof of his store on New Years?


Apparently a lot of people thought it was a great idea, because the event now attracts thousands of people from all over to the tiny town in north Carolina, all of them eager to vote on (or compete for) the coveted title of "Possum Queen", drink non-alcoholic beverages, fire black powder muskets, and then.. well.. drop a possum off the roof.


Ok, "drop" might be a little disingenuous. The possum is actually gently lowered in a glass case as not to hurt to the animal any, but that hasn't stopped PETA from going apeshit about it every year. Just this year the animal rights activist group sued Clay and his event, claiming that the midnight Possum Drop isn't just weird as hell.. but cruel. When asked what he thought about PETA's statements, Clay just laughed.

"There are probably opossums up around my house with little signs saying, 'Use me next year!'"

Clay ran into some trouble with PETA a few years back as well, when a judge ruled that he didn't have an adequate permit to display the animal, but after the ruling was overturned earlier last year, the Possum Drop is going to resume as planned.


If you want to check out the back woods festivities for yourself, fire some muskets, and sing some church hymns, just head to Clay's Corner Store in Brasstown, North Carolina.