The New Year’s Eve Pickle in Mount Olive will make its official drop December 31 into 2022, on the campus of University of Mount Olive.
“We are dill-lighted that we can return to the live event, and we have the experiences of the past two years to make this year even bigger and better,” said Lynn Williams, company spokesperson.
The parking area of the university’s Kornegay Arena served as a temporary location for 2019, and in 2020, the pickle drop was an online celebration, thanks to the COVID 19 pandemic. For 19 years prior, the pickle drop was staged at the Mt. Olive Pickle Company headquarters – the official Corner of Cucumber & Vine.
“In 2019 we had a huge construction project on our plant site, and it wasn’t practical to hold a public event there at the time,” Ms. Williams said. “So, the university graciously allowed us to stage the Pickle Drop there that year. That night, we looked around and said ‘oh, this is really nice.’ We had so much more room, better parking, and safer, easier access for the folks who attended.”
For 2021, then, much of what made the 2019 event better comes back – a great site, more food trucks, another 10-minute fireworks display, and the Mount Olive Fire Department’s tower truck to assist with dropping the pickle.
In 2020, the online version of the Pickle Drop included a virtual food drive to benefit the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. That returns for 2021, too.
“The food drive has been a Pickle Drop tradition since the beginning,” Ms. Williams said. “Last year we were able to raise over $5,000 online, which Mt. Olive Pickle matched. Even though we couldn’t hold the Pickle Drop and the canned food drive as always last year, we were still able to make an impact for Food Bank. It was logical to us to include that component again for 2021.”
For the live event, those bringing canned food or making a financial contribution receive a chance to win door prizes from the Mt. Olive Pickle Company gift shop at the evening’s end. The grand prize is a pool pickle similar to the one that is dropped.
The New Year’s Eve Pickle Drop, first held in 1999 and attended by a handful of Mt. Olive Pickle employees, annually draws several thousand. The family-friendly event gets underway at 5:30 with live music from The Harmony Boys and line dancing led by deejay L.J. Manley.
The glowing, three-and-a-half-foot pickle drops from the Mount Olive Volunteer Fire Department’s tower truck promptly at 7 o’clock, followed by Auld Lang Syne and fireworks.
“After that, the party is over. We will have ushered in 2022 officially, if just a little early, and most of us can still be home in bed before midnight,” Ms. Williams said. “Some things just never change.”
For those who can’t make it in person, watch it live on New Year’s Eve on the web at www.mtolivepickles.com.
In business since 1926 in its hometown of Mount Olive, NC, Mt. Olive Pickle Company manufactures the best-selling brand of pickles, peppers and relishes in the U.S.
- Physical address for the event: University of Mount Olive, 634 Henderson Street, Mount Olive, NC 28365, in front of the George and Annie Dail Kornegay Arena
- Handicapped Parking will be available · Park anywhere on campus – www.umo.edu/
- Video screens will count down the last hour of 2021, from 6-7 p.m.
- The pickle drops at 7 p.m. sharp
- Fireworks will begin shortly after the pickle drop
- Free pickles courtesy Mt. Olive Pickle
- Food trucks will be available to serve at 5 p.m.
- Bring canned food or financial contribution for Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC and receive a ticket for a door prize drawing
- Bring your own chairs! · Watch live from home at www.mtolivepickles.com and donate to Food Bank via https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mt-olive-pickle-company1