Havre de Grace began its unique count down to the New Year in 1999—started with a lot of heart and mostly community work. About 2007, (as most locals know) the Susquehanna Hose Company came to help out the big duck. And ever since then, it became history. As HarfordNeighbors.net are quoted, it's become a "Big Night in a Small Town."
The first time I attended the big Duck Drop, I was surprised just how many people showed up! Tons! A big event and I couldn't believe that there were no vendors or music to accompany the waiting big duck. Christopher Barsam came to visit Havre de Grace in 2011 and wrote an entry on Examiner.com titled: "Havre de Grace, Maryland superior to Times Square New York?" He is surprised that about 500 people gathered to see the big drop, but he also gave a major shout out for the future of the Duck Drop: Publicity, music and concessions ware needed.
As an outsider, Barsam read my mind exactly. But I wanted to add to Barsam's thoughts. We have 500 people from all over the place going to a field, not exactly anywhere particular in Havre de Grace. Why not move the Duck Drop to the center of it all: Main Street. The tight knit shops, bars. "Where its at," or where it will hopefully be at this year.
Take Red Lion, PA for example, which hosts its annual Cigar Shop downtown. Shops stay open later, there is live bands, DJs, drinks and concessions. And its been successful to continue throughout the years. It's time to pump it up! As Barsam says, the Duck Drop is something that must be done once, by everyone. Start advertising for this great idea sooner.
All bars, restaurants and participating venues downtown will benefit astronomically from the new Duck Drop. Businesses who usually stay closed, or make no profit at all on New Years Eve, will have a new opportunity to have a busy day now. Families from all over will more than likely say "What a nice shop that was!" Or "What an awesome bar. You know, we should really come back to Havre de Grace this weekend/next summer/when the weather is nice, to check out the other places!" And there, starts a new cycle for tourism to grasp. Newcomers that have a new reason to visit Havre de Grace. The charm, new restaurants, food and taste of Maryland that they will be teased with and wanting more on New Years Eve.
Rub-A-Dub Duck Drop, Ringing in the New Year all on Main Street in Havre de Grace. Taking a spin on the old and giving it a new look. Just like First Fridays, but better. What do you say, are you in?