if you always get a thrill when that glittery ball drops on New Year’s Eve – but you have no intention of heading to Times Square – join us for the mountain version of that memorable occasion. On Thursday, December 31, 2015, quiet little Brasstown, North Carolina (several miles from Murphy, NC) will host its 22nd Annual New Year’s Eve Possum Drop. This nationally famous event kicks off around 9:30 p.m., when several hundred to thousand hardy revelers gather at the Clay’s Corner station, right next to the John C. Campbell Folk School. This family-friendly evening is alcohol free, so bring the kids to enjoy it, too!
The festivities begin with toe-tapping bluegrass from the Barker Brothers, followed by Larry Witcher’s classic “Eulogy to a Possum” that always stirs the crowd’s emotions. Shortly after 10 p.m., the Guest of Honor arrives with considerable fanfare. As the lucky possum reclines in comfort, he enjoys a gospel music tribute and the much-anticipated Possum Idol Sing-Off.
Next, the Miss Possum Contest takes center stage. If you’re expecting a typical beauty pageant, where lovely young ladies glide across the stage in gorgeous evening gowns, you’re barking up the wrong tree. Instead, you’ll see several lumberjack types who likely drove their pickup trucks to the event – except they’re all decked out in frills and glitter. Believe it or not, they’re all competing for the coveted “Miss Possum” crown. This event defies description – you just have to see it in person. After the whoops and hollers die down, enjoy a “Tribute to Our Service Men and Women,” quite appropriate for this highly patriotic region.
As midnight approaches, excitement builds for the big Possum Drop. This year, station owner Clay Logan plans to lower a live opossum, who views all the hoopla from his cozy decorated Plexiglas box. In contrast, Logan was compelled to use a fake possum during the 2014 event, after an animal rights group’s legal action blocked him from using a live animal. However, this year the North Carolina General Assembly passed legislation that brought a real possum back into the picture. The animal rights group challenged the new law, but a North Carolina Superior Court Judge ruled in the possum’s favor.
Now, you might be wondering about the possum’s pre-event accommodations. Because this sluggish marsupial is the main attraction, Clay Logan ensures that his newfound friend gets the star treatment for several days before the show. Mr. Possum gets a nice comfy bed and tasty meals, and he doesn’t have to worry about becoming a Murphy, NC area traffic statistic. In other words, the possum lives high on the hog. And just in case you wonder, we support the use of the opossum! It gets the red carpet treatment making it the luckiest possum possible.
Finally, the clock strikes the midnight hour, and Clay Logan happily lowers his possum to welcome the New Year. The crowd erupts into roars and applause, and there are lots of hugs and kisses to go around. Brilliant fireworks fill the Brasstown, NC sky, and another Possum Drop goes into the record books.