About 1,000 people congregated in front the Citizen's Hose Company, Dillsburg, to ring in 2013 during the 20th anniversary of the Pickle Drop.
The evening was cold, but dry – seasonable for December 31, in south central Pennsylvania. At 4 p.m., families with children flocked to the Community Hall for an early celebration of the New Year. As in previous years, games and other activities were available for children.
Pickle soup made by the Dillsburg Senior Center, did not sell out early, as it did last year. The restaurant also served other favorites, including cheese steaks, burgers, dogs and various deserts. At 7 p.m., the Mrs. Pickle Drop was held. As always, both kids and adults had a chance to have photographs taken with Mrs. Pickle and L'ill Dill.
At 8 p.m., the outside celebration began as DJ Brad Milbrand returned as emcee for the event. Vehicle traffic rerouted at the square to to allow pedestrians to meet and enjoy the night's events on South Baltimore Street. Mr. Pickle was hoisted on the fire company's ladder truck awaiting his descent at midnight.
Dillsburg prematurely celebrated the advent of 2013. The crowd of about 300, composed of a large number of high school students, were temporarily caught off guard by the countdown – cellphones displayed the time of the drop as beginning one minute early – but people quickly adjusted and echoed the countdown. As the clock hit midnight, the fireworks display had begun.
This year, as in the past, Dillsburg's Pickle Drop garnered some national attention. According to Dillsburg Banner editor, Marie Chomicki, a picture of the 2012 Pickle Drop, taken by Banner photographer, Curt Werner, was featured on ABC's weekday afternoon cooking show, The Chew, in a segment about unusual items dropped at New Year's Eve celebrations across the country, Chomicki said.
“Also last year we were mentioned in the Washington Post,” Chomicki said. “They linked to our video of the pickle drop. Also, my sister, Janet, and I were on Good Morning America, Friday, December 7, with a sign of Mr. Pickle – I think this prompted the segment producer of the Chew. You could see us behind Champion towards the end of the show.”
For those who could not attend the Pickle Drop, YouTube has a two-minute video of the event posted by Rick Fitzgerald. Pre-publicity about the event was listed on numerous websites, including CraftLister.com; and it was featured in the news section of I4U.com., which offers daily news and trends for the “Geek Mind.”
Werner said: “Early December I was contacted by Brett Harris, Segment Producer of the TV Show "The Chew" on ABC. He wanted to know if I had any photos of the Pickle Drop in Dillsburg. I told him I did have photo and also mentioned we also drop Mrs. Pickle at 7:00 p.m. at the Citizens Hose #1 Fire Company for the children that cannot stay up till midnight. He laughed and said he would also be interested in a photo of that event. We talked about all the different items dropped on New Year's Eve. Hershey, York, Mechanicsburg and Shippensburg were mentioned. I told Mr. Harris I had photos of the anchor being dropped in Shippensburg and he wanted to see that photo. In closing our conversation, Mr. Harris said "The Chew" wanted to do a segment on the different things dropped on New Year's. He said, "I can not promise you we will use any of these photos, but, it we do, it will go nationwide and be used in re-runs.”
As 2013 made headlines, it was natural for some to look back at 2012 headlines. Among the people interviewed by the Banner about the top three news stories of the past year, the responses by, Steve Voorhees, a Dillsburg realtor, were typical:
“The re-election of President Obama. For sheer volume of press, this is my first pick.” Voorhes said. “The campaigns of all the candidates and the actual election were at the forefront of all the news outlets that I read or watch. The Newtown Connecticut Shootings - Horrific event. The reactions from people included anger, sympathy, and bewilderment. No one shrugged at this story. Number 3 - Superstorm Sandy - People are captivated by natural disasters.”
A Boiling Springs High School art teacher, Pamela Wellington, who attended the Pickle Drop, said Connecticut school shootings and the re-election of President Obama were her top two. For a third pick, she chose the Jerry Sanduski and Penn State University child molestation scandal.
“I chose the Connecticut story because I grew up in Connecticut and am a school teacher,” It hit too close to home, and horrified and disturbed me deeply, as it did everyone. As a public school teacher I identified with the teachers, and felt a sense of responsibility as well as deep uneasiness.”
“The President getting re-elected to a second term was such an important story and gave me not only joy but relief. I wanted to see him win, but, more than that, I wanted to see the other guy lose,” she said. “I hope, in four years, I will get to do something I have yet to do, and that is to vote for a president, and not to prevent another guy from getting into office, for the better of two evils.”
The third choice was the Jerry Sanduski scandal: “I couldn't avoid it. It was everywhere, and with a disturbing, sympathetic spin that Pennsylvanians put on it, since it was their beloved Penn State. It seemed to me that people cared way more about Penn State and Joe Paterno than the harm done to innocent young men. It was deeply disturbing,” Wellington said.
Freelance artist, editor and administrator for Wookieepedia.com, Britt Roth of Gettysburg, who attended the Pickle Drop, chose an entertainment story for one of her top three. She noted that Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm was one of her picks.
“As an editor and administrator of Wookieepedia, the Star Wars Wiki, this news was very important, as it concerns the future of the Star Wars franchise, particularly the Expanded Universe that is comprised of the novels, comics, games, and role-playing systems,” Roth said. “When it was announced by Disney that Star Wars: Episode VII would premiere in 2015, it brought to mind over twenty years of continuity that could potentially be wiped out in one fell swoop. As a chronicler of that continuity, it was a very bittersweet announcement for Wookieepedia.”
The annual AP news poll of top 2012 stories included the Connecticut school shooting, the election and Superstorm Sandy in its top three; followed by the Supreme Court decision upholding Obama Care; the September 11 killing of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stephens and three other Americans; the Sanduski and PSU scandal; the economic recovery; the fiscal cliff; states approving gay marriage; and the civil war in Syria, as its top 10.