We rang in the New Year at Clay's Corner in Brasstown, NC. Every year we have talked about going to see the Possum Drop celebration--you know, New York has the big ball, so NC has the POSSUM. We got there around 10:00 pm in time to see last year's Possum Queen do a "dance routine" after the ceremonial possum in cage was raised to hover over the proceedings. The beauty pageant  part of the festivities features regional "beauty queens" or whatever men from area communities who could be persuaded to dance in drag on an outdoor stage. There were four or five obliging participants.

There was a bluegrass band called The Barker Brothers and they were pretty good. There was some impressive finger movement in the 32F weather. 
Here is my own short little video that lets you see a little of the band and a little of the possum. At the end of this post you can see a professionally made video from last year's event. 

An area church led a sing-a-long of various carols and gospel songs. Right after that was the beauty pageant. The emcee was pretty good with the jokes and the whole thing was pretty much G-rated. There was a portion where a band of black powder enthusiasts--the Brasstown Brigade--had a vocal blessing/song which to my mind somehow rationalized belief in Jesus means you should shoot guns. Then they fired several volleys, a tuba played a vaguely recognizable melody--something Sousa, I think. There was a small fire on the hill from one of the projectiles but I did not worry too much, they were firing over our heads even though they were facing us.

There was a rodeo clown and some bull riding. That is, a rodeo clown and some girls with bull costumes around their middles acting like bull riders. Prizes were awarded by applause. NC Speaker of the House Thom Tillis was on hand to honor US Military and the three Congressional Medal of Honor winners who passed away in 2011.

Finally the Possumtron revealed the moment was at hand. Representative Tillis ceremonially and SLOWLY (PETA IS WATCHING) lowered the possum to crowd applause. Following that was the largest display of fireworks I have seen in a long, long, time. We figured someone went over to Tennessee to buy them.  And I was not more than 50 feet away from the ignition site. Huge chunks of the stuff fell on my head, arms and hands. When the sound from the grand finale died away, Willie Nelson (via recording) led us all in "Dixie" as we turned from the display to walk back to our cars. What a great way to start the new year.

Here's a video from last year's event.

No comments: