FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – No matter where you are on Dec. 31st, you’ll likely be joining in the countdown as towns across America get their New Year’s Eve drops on. In Key West, Fla., crowds will be celebrating a six-foot queen conch shell, for folks in Mechanicsburg, Penn., it’s a giant wrench, and in Temecula, Calif., a bunch of grapes will take center stage.
However, in Flagstaff, it’s the Great Pinecone Drop (GPD) as thousands of cheering revelers celebrate at 7,000 feet in the mountain town surrounded by the world’s largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest!
As has been the tradition since 1999, the Weatherford Hotel’s GPD has been Flagstaff’s symbol of hope, peace, health, happiness and good fortune. New Year’s Eve festivities include a spectacular light show as thousands of voices join in the songs of the season and count down to 2015 with local radio personality Joe Harting.
“We love being able to share the joy of the holidays with our community and visitors,” said Weatherford Hotel co-owner Sam (Green) Taylor. “Through our efforts to restore the hotel, our goal has always been to keep the downtown vibrant and full of positive energy as a community gathering place,” adds co-owner Henry Taylor.
Currently, the six-foot tall, LED lighted pinecone is suspended from the top of the Weatherford Hotel like a giant holiday ornament bringing holiday cheer to downtown shoppers.
“This is the best New Year’s event in the West,” says Flagstaff Mayor Jerry Nabours. “People come from everywhere because it is a classic New Year’s with a happy crowd, cold weather, historic buildings, a countdown and fireworks, and its free!”
To make the most of the New Year’s Eve magic, whether you’re hoping for more money, true love or improved health in 2015, it’s a good idea to eat some cabbage and black-eyed peas, stand next to someone you want to kiss, and carefully consider your underwear color: yellow for prosperity; red for romance; white for peace and harmony. And if you wake up in the New Year finding a pile of broken dishes at your door, be grateful because in Denmark, they consider this a good thing: the bigger the pile, the more friends you have!
The Weatherford Hotel also is offering New Year’s Eve dinner specials from 5 p.m. to10 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 31. Guests are encouraged to make their reservations as soon as possible, as the hotel’s rooms are already booked. Music from Stylus will be playing in the Gopher Hole Pub.
The free Great Pinecone Drop sponsored by the Weatherford Hotel, and in part by Nackard Bottling Company, will have two lowerings: one at 10 p.m. and one at midnight.
Also, the Weatherford Hotel is offering a free hotel stay on New Year’s Eve. Contestants can enter the drawing at the Nackard Bottling Company display in local Basha’s grocery stores.
The GPD was initially introduced on Dec. 31, 1999 by the Weatherford Hotel to ring in the new millennium and to celebrate the historic hotel’s 100th anniversary when John Weatherford first invited the world into his elegant building on Jan. 1, 1900.