By Mark Abrams
BETHLEHEM, Pa. (CBS) — In New York, they drop a huge, crystal-encrusted ball to mark the arrival of the new year.
In Bethlehem, Pa., it’s the “Peeps chick drop.”
The Just Born candy company, based in Bethlehem, produces the popular yellow “Peeps,” chick-shaped marshmallow treats, a favorite in Easter baskets across the region.
But Matt Pye, vice president of corporate affairs for the company, says city officials came to Just Born some years ago to devise a unique celebration to herald the New Year.
It started small, Pye says, but it has grown.
“It’s such a fun, lovable icon to actually see this 4½-foot, 85-pound, yellow chick just drop and descend with the backdrop of Bethlehem Steel, the steel stacks,” he says. “It’s just pretty amazing.”
A two-day festival was “hatched” (Pye’s word) five years ago with free, family-oriented events and entertainment in what’s been billed as “Peepsfest.”
But, Pye says, the Peeps Chick Drop is the highlight.