A Brief History of the Flagstaff Pinecone Drop

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A local Tradition

Every New Year’s Eve, Flagstaff residents gather in downtown, anticipating a most unusual event – the annual pinecone drop. This event has become one of Flagstaff’s most beloved traditions, but few know the story behind this unique celebration. Let’s take a closer look at how this quirky tradition started and why it continues to be an important part of Flagstaff culture.

Flagstaff Pinecone

The Origins of the Flagstaff Pinecone Drop

The pinecone drop started in 1999 as a response to the Y2K scare, when many people were concerned that computers and other electronics would crash due to an inability to process dates after January 1st, 2000. In response to these fears, Flagstaff locals decided to come up with a humorous way to “ring in” the new year – an 8-foot-tall fiberglass pinecone suspended from a crane arm high above Heritage Square.

Since then, the pinecone has become an iconic symbol for Flagstaff locals and visitors alike. Every year on December 31st, hundreds of people gather in downtown Flagstaff to welcome in the new year with fireworks and fanfare as they watch their city mascot descend from its lofty perch at midnight. In addition to being a fun event for attendees, it also serves as a fundraiser for local charity organizations with proceeds going towards various causes each year.

The Symbolism of the Pinecone Drop

The pinecone is symbolic of more than just its comical nature – it also serves as an homage to Flagstaff’s natural beauty and history. The ponderosa pines that grow throughout northern Arizona are deeply intertwined with local culture; in fact, they are often seen as symbols of strength and resilience by those who call this area home. By dropping a giant replica pinecone every New Year’s Eve, Flagstaff locals are reminded not only of their past but also of their future potential – much like how a real pinecone contains the potential for future generations within its seeds.

Don’t miss out!

Whether you’re visiting or you live here full time, you won’t want to miss out on one of Flagstaff’s most beloved traditions—the annual Pinecone Drop! While it may seem like an odd way to welcome in the new year; this quirky event has become more than just something fun — it serves as reminder that anything is possible if we have courage and determination — much like what lies inside every single pinecone that grows throughout Northern Arizona each year! So, join us here in downtown Flagstaff on December 31st and be part of something special! Happy New Year!

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Article by Ryan Kanaley



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