Go Magazine

January 2018

Go Magazine

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Page 18 of 31

19 pole and into a perfectly preserved red- wood pickle tank at precisely 7 p.m. Video screens mark the countdown of the year's final hour, from 6 to 7 p.m. The Harmony Boys will perform from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. and then DJ L.J. Manley will lead the crowd in line dancing. Free refreshments — hot chocolate, cookies and pickles — will be served. Another part of the Pickle Drop tradition is the canned food drive for the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. Those bringing canned food, or who make financial contributions, receive a chance to win door prizes at the evening's end. The grand prize is a pool pickle similar to the one that is dropped. • No pets, please. • The company's gift shop will be open that day from 3 to 7 p.m. • For driving directions to Mt. Olive Pickle, go to www .picklemap.com. • The physical address for the main plant and gift shop is One Cucumber Boulevard, Mount Olive, NC 28365. • Handicapped parking will be avail- able at the company' s front gate. • General parking is available on the plant site. Watch for directions. Immedi- ately after the event, all gates are opened for a reasonably quick exit. • For those who can't make it in person, watch it live on New Year's Eve on the web at www.mtolivepickles.com. The Pickle Drop was started in 1999 by the late Johnny Walker, Mt. Olive Pickle Co. presi- dent emeritus. Walker had been inspired by a 1950s publicity stunt by Pickle Packers Interna- tional in Chicago that invited past World War II bombardiers — who claimed they were so accurate they could drop a bomb in a pickle barrel — to drop pickles from a skyscraper into barrels on the side- walk. In that first year of the Pickle Drop, eight people attended, including company mascot Mr. Crisp. Mr. Crisp has since retired and Ollie Q. Cumber is the new mas- cot. In 2001 the event opened to the public and has grown ever since with new additions and improvements made every year. First, a countdown marquee was added. Next, the pickle was rigged with interior lights. The usual "splash" of the pickle dropping into the barrel — created by someone throwing a bucket of water behind the scenes — has been replaced by water shot into the air fol- lowed by a balloon release. In business since 1926 in its hometown of Mount Olive, Mt. Olive Pickle Co. manufactures the No. 1 brand of pickles, peppers and relishes in the U.S. n A crowd gathers just before the New Year's Eve Pickle descends down the flagpole on the corner of Cucumber & Vine. story continued from page 18 'brining' the fun

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