The 20th annual New Year’s Eve Pickle Drop will see a significant change this December – but only for one year.
Because of a major construction project going on at the Corner of Cucumber & Vine – the location of the company’s Main Plant – the Pickle Drop will be held at the University of Mount Olive. The company will stage the pickle drop in front of the university’s Kornegay Arena on Tuesday, December 31.
“We will temporarily move the Corner of Cucumber & Vine to the University of Mount Olive for this year’s event,” said Lynn Williams, public relations manager for Mt. Olive Pickle. “We are so grateful to the university. Our question essentially was ‘can we host our party at your place, and invite a few thousand of our friends? And they said yes!”
Mt. Olive Pickle will shut down most manufacturing operations at its Main Plant in early December for a five-week period. During that time, contractors will replace a significant portion of the main building’s roof.
“We will have all sorts of equipment and materials staged here at our plant site throughout December,’ Ms. Williams said. “Having the drop here was just not going to be feasible.”
Among the challenges of moving the New Year’s Eve Pickle Drop is how to drop the pickle, which traditionally descends down the company’s 45-foot flagpole and into a redwood pickle tank.
“So we turned to the Mount Olive Volunteer Fire Department,” Ms. Williams said. “They also graciously said yes when we asked them if they would bring their tower truck.”
The New Year’s Eve Pickle Drop, first held and attended in 1999 by a handful of Mt. Olive Pickle employees, annually draws several thousand. The family-friendly event gets underway with live music at 5:30, and the glowing, three-and-a-half-foot pickle drops from the firetruck tower promptly at 7 o’clock.
The evening includes line dancing, free pickles, cookies and hot chocolate, and a canned food drive for the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. Those bringing canned food or making a financial contribution receive a chance to win door prizes from the Mt. Olive Pickle Company gift shop at the evening’s end. The grand prize is a pool pickle similar to the one that is dropped.
For those who can’t make it in person, watch it live on New Year’s Eve on the web at www.mtolivepickles.com.
In business since 1926 in its hometown of Mount Olive, NC, Mt. Olive Pickle Company manufactures the best-selling brand of pickles, peppers and relishes in the U.S.