What is it about dropping things from the sky at midnight to ring in the new year, and then lighting up the sky with fireworks? New York City is of course best known for dropping the crystal ball in Times Square. But did you know that the tiny island of Key West, Florida, the southernmost city in the United States, has three of the most outrageous sky dropping rituals imaginable?
Key West is an exotic island just two miles by four, with a diverse culture that’s as quirky and creative as it gets. It’s also known for boisterous parties and New Year’s Eve is one of the best times ever. Here are three of the most exciting decisions: The descent of a giant red high-heeled shoe with exotic drag queen Miss Sushi on the 800 block of Upper Duval Street. Crews from CNN are on hand to bring the event to the world; Dropping an oversized “conch” at the 200 block of Duval Street; And lowering a glamorous pirate girl from the mast of a tall schooner in the island’s historic seaport. Crowds flock to all the come-as-you-are events, dressed in everything from formal attire to swimsuits. The following poem captures the essence of the wondrous New Year’s Eve in Old Town Key West.
It was the night before New Year’s Eve when the whole house
No creature has slept, not even my spouse?
The champagne was carefully placed on the table
Hoping that ‘Father Time’ would be here soon.
Our friends were all dressed in their very best threads
While visions of fireworks danced in their heads.
And dad in his boxers and me in my swaddle
Just had our brains quieted for a pre-party nap.
When there was such a clatter in the old town below,
I jumped out of bed to see what was going on.
I jumped on my bike and I rode like lightning
Straight down Duval Street, I stormed like crazy.
The moon on the lanes led most of the way,
Because on the same day I had lost my bicycle light.
What suddenly appeared before my eyes on the scene,
But a giant pair of red heels and a cheeky drag queen?
With Anderson Cooper, so lively and Gucci,
I knew immediately it had to be Miss Sushi.
Faster than eagles came their racers,
All 801 girls, as she called them by their names!
“Now Josie! now Kylie! now Elle and Cassy!
Up, Mayon! Up Marilyn! You all look so classy!
On the balcony! Up to the top of the wall!
Now get ready everyone! The shoe will fall!”
Like palm fronds flying before a hurricane
I jumped back on my bike and looked at the sky.
To my great surprise, Down Duval,
A giant conch shell hung high on the wall!
It seemed to sparkle on the roof
It should fall at midnight!
As I ducked my head and turned around
The crowds all poured into downtown Old Town.
I jumped back on my bike and rode to the wharf,
To pick up the schooners and grab a liter quickly.
When I heard more screams in the distance,
At the top of the Yard Arms was a whore with glamor?
Her eyes – how they sparkled! her smile, how cheerful!
Her cheeks were like roses, her hair like a fairy!
Her beautiful mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And her perfect teeth were white as snow.
She held the schooner’s backstay tight in one hand,
With a sword in the other, she pointed at a rock band.
She had a shiny corset and a fine feather cap,
Fishnet stockings and boots to hit!
She was beautiful and happy and giggled at us all
And I realized she was going to take the Midnight Fall too!
A wink of her eye and a turn of his head,
I soon knew I had nothing to fear.
I jumped back on my bike, sent my best to the whore
With visions of things falling from the sky in Key West,
To my house I rode back into the dark starry night,
Happy New Year everyone and good night everyone.”
Thanks to Cindy M. Rhoades | #Key #West #Years #Poem #Twas #Night #Years #Key #West