The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


January 1, 2009

Guess what Beavertown dropped New Year's Eve

BEAVERTOWN -- Times Square in New York City wasn't the only place dropping things for New Year's Eve.

The first annual "beaver drop" took place at midnight, outside of the fire hall on Sassafras Avenue.

A 6-foot tall stuffed beaver was scheduled to be hoisted 75 feet into the air on the borough's hook and ladder fire truck at 11 p.m.

"It may swing in the wind, but we're going to go through with it," said the 78-year-old Beavertown Mayor Cloyd William Wagner on Wednesday. The weather was expected to be windy and cold.

The beaver, stuffed with shredded paper, was crafted by a local resident.

"She donated all the materials, did all the sewing," Wagner said. "I'm hoping to have a thank-you announcement at the event."

Although the stuffed creature has more human-looking legs and arms than an actual beaver, it has a beaver tail and looks like a beaver, Wagner said. Wagner came up with the idea for a beaver drop and presented it to council members, who immediately saw the fun in it and worked to make it happen.

"We don't know what's going to come out of it, but if it's at all possible, we'll have a second and third," Wagner said. "We'll learn by this experience how to tweak it and make it better for the next time."

A sign was to light up when the beaver touched the ground.

"When the sign lights up, that will be the signal for the fireworks operator to start shooting the fireworks," Wagner said.

He said the fireworks operators could not tell by the afternoon if they'll have a fireworks display, but they were determined to shoot them if at all possible. If there was a five-minute window of clear weather, and no severe gusts of wind, the display would go on, Wagner said.

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