PA: Home to some of the most unique NYE traditions

In Shamokin, Northumberland County, a piece of coal is dropped from a flagpole on New Year's Eve.

Pennsylvania is a state filled with distinctive New Year’s traditions.

We have everything from the strawberry drop in Harrisburg, to the Mummers parade in Philly on New Year’s Day.

The State Tourism office in Harrisburg says the state has more unique New Year’s "drops" than any other state.

In Shamokin Northumberland County Friday afternoon, preparations were underway for the city's annual coal drop.

It's been tradition there for about 20 years.

A local resident came up with the idea.

"Our heritage was coal. He says, 'hey, maybe we ought to get together and drop a big lump of coal on New Year’s Eve and celebrate the New Year. And it kind of stuck,” Shamokin Mayor William Milbrand said.

Milford Shrawder comes as often as he can.

"It's something that the people are proud of, because they're dropping it. A lot of places out here are still burning coal. I know we do,” Shrawder said.

Temperatures struggled to reach 20 degrees in the afternoon.

And those who decided to brave the cold weather made sure to bundle up.

But, it's expected to be even colder here Sunday night.

Earlier this week Sunbury, which lights a giant bulb, announced the cold weather is forcing them to cancel their annual bulb drop.

However, the fireworks display will still go on as planned.

But don't expect Shamokin to follow suit.

"I've been down through it all, and I'm gonna be here this year as well,” Milbrand said.

"We're pretty strong out here. We'll brave the weather. As long as they have it,” Milbrand added.

If you think the coal drop is unique, Pottsville actually raises a Yuengling bottle, and Bethlehem drops a giant peep!

Across the state, Dillsburg York County drops a pickle, Carlisle drops a 50-pound button, and McClure Snyder County drops a Kettle.

Elsewhere in Northumberland County, residents in Shenandoah ring in the New Year with a Pierogi and Kielbasa drop.

Schrader says the night's about coming together, and Shamokin is the perfect place to do just that.

"It's like a little hometown. You don't get that too much anywhere. A neighbor would help a neighbor out,” he said.

Here are some more of the most unique New Year's Eve traditions across the state:

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off