Ducks, muskrats and crabs: Weird New Year's Eve 'ball' drops in Maryland

On Dec. 31, hordes of people will gather in New York’s Times Square to see that shiny ball drop at midnight to ring in 2019.

But who cares about a giant sparkly ball when you can watch a duck plunge instead? Not into things that quack? Well, then, how about a muskrat?


Towns throughout Maryland host their own versions of New Year’s Eve ball drops, but get a little more creative. Here’s a sampling.

Fireworks and a gigantic lighted duck ring in the new year during the annual Havre de Grace New Year's Eve Duck Drop in Havre de Grace (photo by Scott Serio / January 1, 2017)

The duck drop in Havre de Grace

Since 2000, this Harford County down has been dropping a large, wooden, illuminated duck on Dec. 31 to pay homage to the town’s waterfowl heritage. It will take place at a new venue this year, Concord Point Park.


Beach ball drop in Ocean City

What would be more appropriate for the beach town than dropping an illuminated, oversized beach ball?

Crab drop in Easton

Also appropriate for its locale, this Eastern Shore town drops an illuminated crab at midnight. It’s even been showcased to national audiences on CNN.

Marshall the Muskrat

Midnight Muskrat Dive in Princess Anne

This Eastern Shore town lowers a taxidermied muskrat named Marshall P. Muskrat — yes, you read that right — to celebrate the new year. According to DelmarvaNow, the creature was donated by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to honor the “regional trapping delicacy.”