Alas, I will have missed the celebration in Flagstaff, Arizona this year with its own peculiar twist on the lowering of the ball. The Arizona Republic newspaper reports:
Each year, Flagstaff celebrates New Year's Eve in its own special way: Outdoors, in the cold, with a large pinecone dropping to bring in the new year.
The 6-foot-tall, 70-pound gold-and-silver aluminum pinecone - it looks like a big Christmas-tree ornament - is lowered from the balcony of the historical Hotel Weatherford. The pinecone drops at 10 p.m. for families and again at midnight. Music plays, while thousands of chilly revelers cheer.
The owners of the Weatherford came up with the idea in 1999, to help celebrate the hotel's 100th anniversary. The first pinecone was a tricked-out trash can.
Laid-back Flagstaff residents embraced the event and there are now even souvenir Pine Cone Drop shirts on sale at the Weatherford to help fund the celebration.