A North Carolina judge ruled on Monday that a mountain town's New Year’s Eve celebration can include the lowering of a captured possum at midnight as planned despite protests from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
PETA petitioned Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour to ban the annual Possum Drop in Brasstown next week, but he elected to allow the town to continue enjoying a possum-tinged taste of Times Square on New Year’s Eve.
The live possum is dropped to the ground in a plastic box in a similar way to how a mirrored ball is lowered at midnight at Times Square in New York City.
The Wildlife Resources Commission gave Clay Logan a permit for the event on Friday. He said this isn’t the first time that PETA has tried to put a stop to the annual event and that he went as far as to use a dead possum once in an effort to pacify the organization.
“If I thought there was anything to traumatize this possum, I wouldn’t do it,” Logan said. “It’s not that I’m being really stubborn … it’s either (PETA’s) way or the highway.”
Logan got the idea for the Possum Drop 24 years ago when he discovered canned possum during a trip to Mississippi.
“The population of Brasstown is small, we hadn’t grown a whole lot in the last 200-300 years,” Logan said. “We had to come up with some kind of gimmick. It’s good, clean, family fun, and there’s no alcohol and everybody brings their kids.”
The possum is released after the drop.