New Year’s pickle drop returning to Mount Olive | Wide Awake
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New Year’s pickle drop returning to Mount Olive

Posted on November 30, 2021

Local newsWide Awake Wilson
The Mt. Olive Pickle Co.’s mascot, Ollie, will be on hand for selfies and family snapshots during the New Year’s Pickle Drop at the University of Mount Olive.

Contributed photo

The Mt. Olive Pickle Co.’s mascot, Ollie, will be on hand for selfies and family snapshots during the New Year’s Pickle Drop at the University of Mount Olive.

MOUNT OLIVE — The New Year’s Eve Pickle in Mount Olive will make its official drop into 2022 on the University of Mount Olive campus.

“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, spokeswoman for the Mt. Olive Pickle Co.

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 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For 19 years prior, the pickle drop was staged at the Mt. Olive Pickle Co. headquarters — the official corner of Cucumber and Vine streets.

“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,”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.”

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.

“The food drive has been a Pickle Drop tradition since the beginning,” 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 (the) 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 Co. gift shop at the evening’s end. The grand prize is a pool pickle similar to the one that is dropped.

Donations can be made online at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mt-olive-pickle-company1.

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, 3 ½-foot pickle drops from the Mount Olive Volunteer Fire Department’s tower truck promptly at 7 o’clock, followed by the singing of “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,” Williams said. “Some things just never change.”

Those who can’t attend the Pickle Drop in person can watch it live online at www.mtolivepickles.com.

In business since 1926 in its hometown of Mount Olive, the Mt. Olive Pickle Co. manufactures the best-selling brand of pickles, peppers and relishes in the U.S.

WANT TO GO?

Who: Mt. Olive Pickle Co.

What: New Year’s Pickle Drop.

When: Celebration starts at 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 31; the pickle drops at 7 p.m. sharp.

Where: In front of the University of Mount Olive’s Kornegay Arena, 634 Henderson St., Mount Olive.

Why: Started in 1999 as a Mt. Olive Pickle employee event, the Pickle Drop celebrates the town’s largest business.

• Parking is available anywhere on the UMO campus. Handicapped parking will be available.

• Attendees who bring canned food donations or make a financial contribution to the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina will receive a ticket for a door prize drawing.

• Food trucks will begin service at 5 p.m. Guests can also snack on free Mt. Olive pickles.

• Video screens will count down the last hour till the pickle is dropped at 7 p.m.

• Fireworks will begin shortly after the Pickle Drop.

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