Clay Logan of Brasstown said he is undeterred by PETA's statement and disagrees with the group's claims his family friendly parody of the Times Square ball drop is "cruel and illegal," the Asheville (N.C.) Citizen-Times reported Friday.
Logan, who said his event can draw up to 3,000 attendees each year, said the opossum is placed in a Plexiglas box and slowly lowered.
Logan said he has made sure his event has had proper permits since 2003, when PETA threatened to sue him. He said he was forced to use a road kill opossum that year, and it did not go over well with the crowd.
PETA said the opossum "suffers through a barrage of terrifying stimuli."
However, Logan said the U.S. Department of Agriculture signed off on his care of the opossum for this year.