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Communities Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Style

NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY -- New Year's Eve is all about tradition for two communities in Northumberland County. Sunbury and Shamokin both have events that mirror the ball drop in New York City.

Millions of people ring in the new year by watching the ball drop in Times Square in person, or on television. But for those who can't make it to New York City and want to see a drop in person, two communities in Northumberland County have similar celebrations. Soon a light bulb in Sunbury will be hoisted to the top of a crane at the Hotel Edison.

"And we lift it up and at twelve o'clock it goes out. It goes on and we have a clock and a timer we rent and it goes off," Laurie Johnson said.

Sunbury drops a light bulb because the Hotel Edison was one of the first buildings in the nation to be wired for electric lighting. It's the fifth year for the celebration.

"I am over the moon. Tell me why. Because this will be the first year I will get to see the historic light bulb come," Patricia Embick said.

The New Year's Eve party in Sunbury starts at 6 p.m. on New Year's Eve with children's activities. There is also a heated tent for adults for $30.

The other city in Northumberland County has a New Year's Eve celebration of its own. At the stroke of midnight Shamokin will drop a large piece of its history.

"We started this in 1988 and it's been going strong since 1988. I think we're one of the forerunners in the coal drops here, or in the drops in the area," Mayor Bill Milbrand said.

Shamokin has a strong coal mining heritage, so Mayor Bill Milbrand says dropping a piece of coal was a no-brainer. The celebration starts at 11 at the corner of Market and Independence Streets. Both Sunbury and Shamokin's New Year's Eve celebrations will feature live music and fireworks.