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From Peaches to Possums | NYE drops in Georgia

Amusing mascots are used to ring in the new year.

ATLANTA — People all over the nation tune in to watch the ball drop in New York's Times Square on New Year's Eve - but in Georgia, similar events take place with more amusing mascots.

Here's a roundup of 'drops' that draw a crowd on Dec. 31.

Atlanta's Peach Drop

It's a Peach State staple drawing people to Georgia's capital every New Year's Eve.

After a three-year hiatus, the Peach Drop is back and promising a jam-packed lineup to ring in the new year. Traditionally, the event has drawn crowds between 65,000 and 100,000 people.

This year's free event will be at the Underground Atlanta and will be hosted by Mayor Andre Dickens.

Celebrations kick off at 6 p.m. with the peach drop promptly at midnight.

McDonough's Geranium Drop

In the name of tradition, McDonough is celebrating its 10th annual Geranium Drop as it looks forward to 2023.

McDonough is filled with flowers, helping it earn its nickname the "Geranium City." It's no wonder why the iconic flower is its chosen mascot to represent the town and salute a new year.

Residents and guests gather for a night of revelry downtown. Dancing shoes are encouraged as people enjoy shops, restaurants and family-friendly activities starting at 9 p.m. As midnight approaches, gather in the square and watch the geranium drop.

If you love the idea of starting the new year with a large-scale geranium, consider being surrounded by them at McDonough's Geranium Festival in May.

Tallapoosa's Possum Drop

In Tallapoosa, they drop o's and possums.

Event organizers haven't clarified why it adjusted the spelling of opossum but it's clear it is now tradition and there's no going back. 

The west Georgia community is self-described as a "small town with southern charm" and the small town draws a crowd around its fan-favorite Possum Drop.

Tallapoosa was formerly known as "Possum Snout," after a local Native American chief, according to event organizers. Now residents cheer to a new year by lowering a stuffed opossum affectionately known as "Spencer."

People can honor the history of Tallapoosa's former namesake in good fun. This year there are two nights of events to celebrate more than a decade of opossum fun.

On Friday, Dec. 30 people can party like it's the 1980s and dress the part between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.  

People can get a head start on their New Year's Eve celebrations on Dec. 31 and enjoy music, carnival games and plenty of food. There will be a special 'early drop' for the younger revelers complete with a fireworks display at 9 p.m. in the Kids Zone.

Those who manage to make it to midnight can watch "Spencer" drop into 2023.

Helen's Dropping of the Edelweiss

Staying true to its German roots, the City of Helen celebrates the new year with the annual Dropping of the Edelweiss

Festivities feature an Edelweiss, a European plant with wooly white flowers and greyish-green leaves. It's a popular Alpine Flower that often makes an appearance during Oktoberfest and is featured on German beer steins, a symbol of what helps make Helen different from the rest of Georgia.

People can travel to the small slice of Germany in Georgia to partake in celebrations beforehand, but the real party starts on New Year's Eve.

Starting at 8 p.m. people can gather at Helen Festhalle and enjoy food, party hats, dancing and food before making a champagne toast to the new year.

At midnight, watch the Edelweiss descend into a new year.

Are we missing a New Year's Eve drop in Georgia? Email gnunez@11alive.com.

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