June 19, 2024
The cherry lowering towards midnight at the annual Door County Cherry Drop for New Year's Eve

Forget the midnight ball drop: Wisconsin drops cheese, a carp, and a cherry on New Year’s Eve.

At New Years’, Times Square in New York City drops that legendary ball, which has been an apple in the past. One of the city’s nicknames is, of course, “The Big Apple.” Well, Wisconsin cities are known for a variety of things, and in Plymouth and Door County, they take what they’re locally famous for, and drop those. We’re talking cheese and cherries here – and you can participate in the fun this New Year’s Eve! So here are two brilliant ideas if you’re thinking of a road trip to ring in 2023:

Plymouth: The Sartori Big Cheese Drop

New Year's 2017 Cheese Drop

Plymouth, in Sheboygan County, has its annual “Cheese Drop” on New Year’s Eve and has been dropping cheese since 2007. Laying claim to the title “Cheese Capital of the World,” Plymouth takes a giant wedge of cheese, hangs lights on it, and lowers it from a ladder truck to help usher in the New Year. Sponsored by Plymouth-based Sartori, the cheese dropped is actually metal replica of a wedge of Bellavitano but real cheese is also there to enjoy, compliments of the company. There’s plenty of food, beverages, plus champagne and more cheese at midnight.

The dropping of the cheese actually happens at 10pm, a move they made to make the event family-friendly. The festivities will begin at 8:30 p.m. in the Great Room of the Plymouth Arts Center, 520 E. Mill St., with a cheese-tasting table, cash bar and live music by local 50’s and 60’s tribute band II Cool. There will also be free hot cocoa and a bonfire outside the Arts Center from 8:30-10 p.m. Gift bags of Sartori Cheese will be distributed to the first 250 families in attendance prior to the cheese drop. A cheese table will be out there for sampling a wide variety of cheeses, along with complimentary hot cocoa and a bonfire you can warm up near until 10pm when the actual Big Cheese Drop takes place (hey, it’s midnight in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick when it’s 10pm here). You’re welcome to bring noisemakers, cheese hats, party hats, maybe those “2024” paper eyeglasses and join in the fun! After the Big Cheese Drop at 10pm, music will continue to 12:30am. A complimentary champagne toast at midnight will be provided to all guests as they ring in the New Year! Find out more on their Facebook page!

Sister Bay: The FM 106.9 The Lodge Cherry Drop in Door County

Wisconsin New Year's Eve Traditions: the FM 106.9 The Lodge Door County Cherry Drop in Sister Bay

Door County is famous for its cherry orchards, so it only makes sense that on New Year’s Eve they would host the 7th annual
fm 106.9 the Lodge Cherry Drop™.
Yes, a huge six-foot, 300-pound lit cherry will be lowered from 120 feet above the ground with the countdown to midnight on New Year’s Eve in Sister Bay. The party includes fireworks at Sister Bay Marina, live music and libations. More activities are planned at the Dorr Hotel and the remodeled Garage bar area, the Filling Station, next to Husby’s. Then, one of our favorite Wisconsin radio stations, fm106.9 The Lodge, will broadcast live with the biggest party tunes of all time starting at 10:30pm. Then the giant sparkling cherry will drop in Sister Bay and welcome in 2024. Feel free to join them! The party continues for a while after because, as you know, you have to keep it going for a while once a new year begins. Check this out right along Highway 42 in Sister Bay, a few blocks north of where Highway 57 ends.

Prairie du Chien: Carp Fest and the NYE “Droppin’ of the Carp”

After a brief hiatus, the annual “Droppin’ of the Carp” on New Year’s Eve is back in Prairie du Chien! It’s the culmination of Carp Fest, which kicked off with events on the 27th through the 31st (of course). The centerpiece of the party is indeed a real carp, caught in the Mississippi River and frozen until New Year’s Eve. The carp’s name? Lucky. Some people even kiss Lucky for good luck in the New Year. Could it bring you good fortune in 2024? There’s only one way to find out! The New Year’s Eve event has a family-friendly version that begins at 5 and runs until 6:30 at Hoffman Hall. The late night drop towards midnight happens on St. Feriole Island on the west side of downtown Prairie du Chien. U.S. 18 and Highways 27, 35, and 60 all bring you there!

However you choose to spend New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, do it safely, have fun, and let’s look forward to 2024!

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