Say Goodbye to New Year's Eve Opossum Drop Celebration

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What’s a New Year’s Eve without an Opossum Drop? The folks of Brasstown, N.C., will soon find out as their time-honored tradition has been halted. 

According to the Charlotte News Observer, a Wake County judge has sided with animal rights groups ruling that event organizer Clay Logan did not qualify for a permit to hold animals captive, and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission had no authority to issue a special permit for the event.

Known as the "Possum Capital of the South," Brasstown draws a huge crowd every New Year’s Eve to witness the annual Opossum Drop – a 20-year tradition and the highlight of the town’s celebration. At the stroke of midnight, a live opossum in a Plexiglass cage is slowly lowered to celebrate the coming of the New Year. The opossum is unharmed and freed after the event.

This year, revelers will have to celebrate New Year's without a live opossum, which is a victory to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which sued the state in December arguing that confining a opossum and subjecting it to loud noises and heavy crowds constitutes cruel treatment.

There is now a wait to see if the state appeals the decision.

What is your opinion of the Opossum Drop? Is it cruel mistreatment of an animal or harmless fun?