MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. (WNCN) — There’s a “dill-lightful” way for people to ring in 2022 Friday night in Mount Olive.
“Have fun and eat a pickle,” said Lynn Williams.
Williams works at Mt. Olive Pickles and told CBS 17 those are two great ways to kick off the new year, after having to celebrate virtually for the past two years.
Mount Olive’s Pickle Drop is back for in-person celebrants and better than ever.
“We have a new feature this year, it’s the pickle jar,” she explained.
The 3.5-foot pickle will now drop into a large, hand-painted pickle jar to start 2022.
“We have lights inside of it, so it glows,” said Williams. She and other employees started the tradition back in 1999.
“A few of us at the plant came up with the idea that it would be really fun to drop a pickle in the new millennium,” she recalled.
They didn’t open up the “big dill” of an event to the public until a couple of years later.
“We thought it was so much fun. In 2001, we had 250 people show up, in the dark,” said Williams. “We were amazed that there were so many people who shared the same sense of humor we did.”
Now, it draws in quite a crowd.
“We’ve been on people’s bucket lists, so they come in from all over the place, out of state. We typically will have folks from out of the country, actually,” she added.
Williams said the popularity of the event is due to the unique festivities.
“People can say, ‘I’m going to watch the pickle drop on New Year’s Eve’,” she laughed.
The event starts a 5 p.m., with food trucks and fun events.
The pickle drops promptly at 7 p.m. with fireworks immediately following.
If people bring canned food or a monetary donation for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, they will get a ticket for a door prize drawing.