New Year’s Eve Chip Drop

Giant Potato Chip Drop
Lewistown Square
Lewistown, Pennsylvania


My original plan was to catch the early “kids version” of the Peep Drop in Bethlehem and then head back south for the Pickle Drop in Dillsburg. Life got in the way and I didn’t have enough time to get to Bethlehem for the early drop …. so I switched gears entirely and headed for Lewistown, Pennsylvania’s Hartley’s Chip Drop. I’m glad that I did!

Though I have passed by Lewistown hundreds of times while traveling Interstates 22/322, I don’t recall ever going through town (yes, bypasses kill towns … it’s a fact). I’ve been missing a little treasure trove of “wonders” and I’ll be back again during riding season to check them out!

Four years ago, journalists at the Lewistown Sentinel newspaper joked about lowering a bag of Hartley’s potato chips to celebrate New Year’s Eve. With the help of Hartley’s and other area business, what started out as a lark has become a unique tradition that brings a lot of fun and pride to Lewistown residents. Now each New Year’s Eve, a giant replica bag of the region’s favorite snack food (built especially for the Chip Drop) is hoisted 100 feet over the town square by the United Volunteer Fire Company and lowered at the stroke of midnight.
The celebration started early in the evening and included a DJ with an accompanying video screen, live music on the top floor of the gorgeous old Mifflin County Courthouse, and several performances by The Zany Umbrella Circus.


You’ll see the exterior of the old courthouse (now in use by the Mifflin County Historical Society and the Juniata River Valley Visitors Bureau) in the video of the drop.

Below is a picture of one of the twin staircases that lead up to the courtroom. Check out the cute little hand-painted sign at top right. I didn’t take any other interior pictures, but I will when I visit the courthouse again … it looks like an old Hollywood courtroom movie set!