The cities of Tallapoosa and Buchanan take turns each year hosting the New Year’s Eve celebration, with Tallapoosa hosting the Possum Drop and Buchanan hosting the Bell Tower Bash. This year, it’s Tallapoosa’s turn to throw the party, and the city is asking for donations to help cover the expenses.
According to Tallapoosa Better Hometown Manager/Leisure Coordinator Kate Gardner, the Downtown Development Authority is in the process of taking donations to cover the roughly $6,000 it is going to cost to host the end-of-year event. At least $2,500 of the costs will cover the fireworks display, which has been bid out to J&M Displays. J&M has coordinated several large fireworks displays in the past, including those seen at Lenox Square, according to Gardner.
While the sum needed to host this annual event may seem large, the amount also covers the entertainment, a stage and merchandise.
“We’ll also have kids activities, too, this year,” Gardner said. “So we need help covering the costs, otherwise it comes out of the DDA’s pocket if no one donates.”
In an effort to increase the fun at this year’s event, the DDA has also improved on merchandising options for New Year’s Eve party goers.
“We’ve expanded our line of merchandise this year,” Gardner said. “In the past we’ve just had toboggans (or knit beanies) for sale. This year, we will have ball caps, sweatshirts and scarves as well.”
All items will be embroidered with a small possum and say “Possum Drop 2009.” The merchandise is sold by DDA as a fundraiser to help pay for downtown improvements. This year’s funds will go toward the upcoming Alewine Avenue parking and greenscape project.
Also as a fundraiser, the DDA will be providing concessions at the Possum Drop.
“We’ll have chili, cornbread, hot chocolate, coffee and cold drinks in case anyone wants those, too,” Gardner said.
Last time Tallapoosa hosted the Possum Drop two years ago, an estimated 2,500 people attended the shin-dig with visitors coming from as far away as Maryland and Los Angeles to join the celebration. Last year, despite the fact that the Possum Drop wasn’t scheduled, it was listed among the nation’s Top 20 Things to do on New Year’s Eve, Gardner said.
Therefor, a big turnout is anticipated once again this year, and Gardner says she hopes everyone will come out and support the Possum Drop once again as it is such a positive experience for the community.
“It promotes tourism, economic development, and it offers a family friendly way to celebrate New Year’s Eve,” she said.
Entertainment kicks off at 9 p.m. on Head Avenue New Year’s Eve. To make a donation, call Gardner at City Hall at 770-574-2345.