If you haven’t made plans for the last few minutes of 2011 and the first new minutes of 2012, don’t worry. A few towns on the Delmarva coast have traditions of lowering over-sized odd objects from the top of landmarks to mark the coming year. There are ticketed and non-ticketed events happening everywhere. Here are a few free celebrations happening in the area…

Berlin Ball Drop: Berlin, MD takes cue from the world-famous Times Square ball drop and recreates a similar atmosphere on New Year’s Eve. The square of Berlin will be filled with folks who want to see the shiny silver ball drop at midnight. Dancing in the streets, non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages will be sold the bars off of Main Street, food stands, refreshments of all sorts, and live entertainment will make for an unforgettable New Years. Horse and carriage rides will be available and take guests on a tour of town beginning at 8 pm.

Princess Anne Muskrat Drop: The first-ever New Year’s Eve Street Party will fill the streets of downtown Princess Anne on December 31st. Starting at 9 pm, guests can enjoy live entertainment from Celtic-folk band, Folk Heroes, pop-singer Tyler Layne, and DJ Kemoisabe Joe. The Princess Anne fire department has chosen to lower a local, semi-aquatic rodent that inhabits nearby marshes to represent their community. A stuffed and preserved muskrat, on loan from the MD Department of Natural Resources, will be lowered from the back of a fire truck. The muskrat will be a site to see on Saturday night – top hat, bowties, and even gloves.

Easton Crab Drop: Easton residents will be ringing in the new year during the Celebration of the Arts on Saturday evening. Dancers will perform, puppet shows will take place, live music, fun crafts, and children’s events will be available. For the 6th year in a row, a giant red crab will be lowered as the clock strikes midnight and the new year rings. The giant steamed red crab will fall at 9 pm, for the kiddos, and at midnight, for the adults. More than 1,500 people attended the event last year and took pleasure in watching the beloved crustacean celebrate the New Year.

Don’t forget to plan your ride home! If you plan to drink this New Year’s Eve, be sure to make a plan to get home safely. Don’t drink and drive. Free public bus service will be provided on New Year’s Eve to everyone ringing in the New Year within the municipal limits of Ocean City, MD. Free bus service will be available from 6 am on New Year’s Eve until 6 am on New Year’s Day. Bus service will be offered every 30 minutes. Busses will follow normal routes. For more information about bus services, call 410-723-1606.

Happy New Year!