Party to go on despite ruling barring possum drop - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Party to go on despite ruling barring possum drop

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BRASSTOWN, N.C. -

The party will still go on in Brasstown, N.C. despite a state judge ruling that its annual possum drop was cruel.

For nearly 20 years, residents of the small town, located just over the Georgia border, have used a possum to ring in the New Year.

The tradition began 18 years ago when the owner of the town's only gas station, Clay Logan, decided to take advantage of the town's large possum population. It involved catching a live possum and putting it in a plexi-glass cage on New Year's Eve.

"We bring it in at 10 o'clock and raise it up over the stage and then at 12 o'clock we count it down, you know, like they do the ball in New York," said Logan.

Crowds grew each year for the possum drop until People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) stepped in. They called the tradition cruel, saying the animal was frightened just for human enjoyment.

A judge agreed with PETA's opinion, ruling that the possum drop must stop.

However, workers are still preparing clay's store for a New Year's Eve party.

Logan won't say what exactly will drop at midnight.

"We haven't really nailed it yet. It's sort of like we're going over the fiscal cliff. We won't know until the 11th hour. Well, we probably won't know until the 10th hour on the possum drop, of what we're going to use," Logan said.

Clay says it doesn't really matter anyway. The possum was secondary to people having a good time.

About 3,000 people are expected for the event, including folks from as far away as Ohio.

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