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  • Maine's sardine/maple leaf New Year's Eve drop

    Eastport, Maine, the country's easternmost city, can be a cold, dark place to spend the New Year. Hoping to bring life to its downtown during the holiday, the city decided to try something new for New Year's in 2004—a wacky New Year's drop including a sardine and a maple leaf, the first as a nod to the town's fishing industry, the second as a celebration of their neighbor across the bay, with whom they share both a political border and a time zone border.

    The maple leaf is dropped at midnight Canadian time—11 p.m. in Eastport—and the sardine is dropped at midnight in Eastport. The sardine, which measures eight feet long, even gets some New Year's kisses after it descends from the third story of the Tides Institute & Museum of Art (a local tradition). This year marks the drop's 14th anniversary.