Public New Year’s Eve events, often called “First Night,” typically feature alcohol-free family activities that culminate at midnight with something being “dropped” from on high and/or fireworks streaking the skies. Yet each offers something unique. Here’s a two-state sampler:
We’ll let town manager Kim Nazarchyk tell the story: “This started in December 2010. Historically, this area at one point was known as Flea Hill; there are old wives’ tales about why it got that name, so the community chose to go with the flea.”
It is, he said, about 4 feet tall and made of wood and paper mache. And the old wives’ tales?
“There’s lots of sand here,” Nazarchyk said, “and back in the 1700s and 1800s animals and livestock would climb up under buildings. Either at a tavern or a church, the fleas got so bad that people would come out scratching. In one story, the preacher had a Bible in one hand and a back scratcher in the other. Well, supposedly a band of gypsies came through one night and told locals that if you took the leaves from a black walnut tree and spread them on the ground, the fleas would go away.”
And did they?
“Supposedly it worked. We have fleas, but supposedly not as bad as back then.”