New York City may drop a giant Waterford crystal ball on New Year’s Eve, but the folks around Brasstown, NC prefer their method – dropping a live possum.
“It ain’t the new year until the possum drops” has been the saying around town for the past 19 years – but not anymore.
A judge ruled in their favor – declaring the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission had not right to issue a permit for the event.
Judge Fred Morrison noted, “Citizens are prohibited from capturing and using wild animals for pets or amusement,” The Asheville Citizen-Times reported.
Clay Logan, the owner of Clays Corner Store – and the organizer of the annual drop, told Fox News he’s disappointed by the ruling.
“It’s just a lot of good, clean, family fun,” he said. “It seems like everybody always wants to jump on the clean family fun part. If we were all a bunch of drunks down here nobody would probably say nothing about it.”
Logan said they still plan to hold a New Year’s Eve celebration – and they are working on an alternative plan.
“It’ll either be a stuffed animal or road kill,” he told Fox News. “We’re not gonna break no laws.”
Logan said he just doesn’t understand all the fuss about using a live possum. For years, they put the critter in a decorated cage and lowered him down at the stroke of midnight. Afterwards, they released the possum into the woods.
But PETA argued it was cruel.
“That’s a matter of opinion,” Logan said. “He’s (the possum) treated good.”
And Logan said he thought he was doing a good deed by actually prolonging the possum’s life.
“Their destiny in life is to be run over,” he said. “So if you don’t get run over in 2012, I’ve extended his life to 2013.”
He said the New Year’s Eve celebration at his store is the one of the highlights of the year for Brasstown – population 240.
Last year as many as 3,000 attended the festivities.
“That ain’t bad for neighbors, is it?” he asked.
As for PETA – Logan said he holds no grudge.
“I’ve never sat down and talked with them real personally,” he said. “I don’t know if they’re meat eaters or not.”
Nevertheless, he hopes they’ll spend New Year’s Eve in Brasstown.
“We’re not pessimistic or optimistic,” he said. “We’re sorta possum-istic. So come on down!”