Ringing in the New Year in fun and unique ways is a tradition for many places in Alabama. Several embrace their history, heritage, and quirky attributes through ball drops and celebrations geared specifically to their city. From a peanut drop to a meteor strike, here are five unique ways Alabama celebrates New Year’s Eve.
Although we’re all ready to say goodbye to 2020, some of these celebrations might be a little different this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. Please check with the city before making plans to attend.
Moon Pie Drop – Mobile
Mobile has become synonymous with MoonPies, so the city hosts a MoonPie drop to commemorate that. The chocolate-and-marshmallow treat is thrown from floats during Mardi Gras parades, which is how the city became known for it. During the annual MoonPie Over Mobile celebration, a 12-foot-tall, 600-pound MoonPie drops at midnight.
Peanut Drop – Dothan
Dothan is the peanut capital of Alabama and home to the annual National Peanut Festival each fall. To celebrate New Year’s Eve, downtown Dothan hosts a celebration where a lighted, suspended peanut drops from the sky to count down to midnight.
Meteor Strike – Wetumpka
The area where Wetumpka is located was struck by a giant meteor 83 million years ago. It left its mark with a crater that’s five miles wide. The city honors that history with a New Year’s Eve meteor drop. When the clock strikes midnight, a meteor “strikes” with fireworks.
DUD Parade — Livingston
The town of Livingston rings in the New Year with a parade. Locals dress up in elaborate costumes and march down the street in this annual tradition. Although no one knows how it really came to be, it’s believed that the DUD Parade originated in 1857 and was a custom carried over from England and Scotland. In the older days, the maskers were dubbed the “Indomitables.” Eventually, someone called them “Damned Ugly Devils” and thus, DUD came to be.
Kids Confetti Drop — Orange Beach
If you don’t want the kids up until midnight, let them count down the New Year until 12 p.m. instead of a.m. The Wharf at Orange Beach hosts a Kids Confetti Drop that includes a DJ, slime zone, climbing activities, and more. At noon, confetti will drop from the sky to celebrate the New Year.
Julia Sayers Gokhale is a writer and editor who has been working in the lifestyle journalism industry since 2012. She was Editor in Chief of Birmingham Magazine for five years and is now leading Yellowhammer News’ lifestyle content. Find her on Instagram at @juliasayers or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.