Western NC Town Ends NYE Opossum Drop Tradition

Dec 31, 2019

The Western North Carolina town of Andrews will end its annual New Year's Eve tradition of lowering a live opossum, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The lowering of an opossum in a plexiglass box -- a response to the Times Square ball drop -- has been practiced in the town since the early 1990s.

"It's done," James Reid, mayor of the 1,800-person town, told WSJ. "They can stick a fork in it."

Although opponents of the tradition have won several court victories against it, Republicans in the North Carolina state legislature passed multiple laws attempting to preseve it -- including a 2015 law exempting Virginia opossums from wildlife protections between Dec. 29 and Jan. 2, according to The Hill.

"Times are changing," Reid told The Hill. "Our plan is to have an awesome party and not have any live animals involved whatsoever."

Last year, the opossum used in the drop developed an infection where it had been caught in a trap. Millie had her leg amputated but survived, and now lives in Prosperity, South Carolina's Opossum's Pouch Sanctuary.