This year, it looks like they have replaced the traditional dropping of the pear on Caroline Street with some sort of “Midnight Celebration” that might include lanterns or pineapples, or some combination. I suspect the city was looking for a pear alternative when they became embroiled in an acrimonious controversy about artistic copyright with Ken Crampton, the originator of the first Fredericksburg pear. Now it looks like we will be represented by the pineapple, the traditional colonial symbol of hospitality. The dropping of Ken’s homegrown pear was a highlight of the celebration for us. After years of seeing the televised ball-drop at Times Square, it was such a treat to get almost within touching distance of the pear at midnight (unfortunately, the demise of Ken’s pear occurred when some kids actually did get within touching, and squashing, distance). I don’t know what tonight’s celebration will be like, and I won’t be attending, so I guess I’ll have to read about it in the paper. Once our kids were old enough to want to spend New Year’s Eve with their own friends, we only attended First Night when we didn’t have a better offer. Tonight we’ll be ringing in the New Year at a big house party with a group of good friends. But if you end up downtown for the “Midnight Celebration” (and I highly recommend it, unless you’re at the party with me), I want to hear all the details.
And now, if you need something to do while waiting for the New Year, and you love gaudy Christmas displays as much as I do, you've got to check out this website. Enjoy!