Crazy drop #1

Maryland. Call it muskrat love - it flows in this Chesapeake town on New Year's Eve. Marshall P. Muskrat, a preserved specimen from local marshland, in top hat and cape, is lowered from a fire truck to count down to midnight. Party starts at 9 p.m. with music, food, drink. The Midnight Muskrat Dive, Princess Anne, Dec. 31. www.visitsomerset.com/index.php/visitsomerset/listing_event/the-midnight-muskrat-dive

Paper pursuits

Connecticut. Antique and collectible paper show with 120 dealers of posters, stamps, rare books, photography, advertising art, sheet music, memorabilia, maps, and other ephemera. Free appraisals on Sun. Papermania Plus, Hartford, Jan. 9-10. www.papermaniaplus.com

Crazy drop #2

Pennsylvania. The annual New Year's Eve drop of a 41/2-foot-tall, 85-pound lighted marshmallow chick takes place at 5:15 p.m., with fireworks afterward. Part of a two-day celebration sponsored by the local company that makes the squishy candy. PEEPS® Chick Drop, Bethlehem, Dec. 31. www.steelstacks.org/peepsfest-activities/

Lively history

Delaware. Tours, music, and theater presentations make the first Saturday of each month special at this cluster of historic sites dating to the 1700s. Revolutionary walking tour, indoor visits to the Governor's House, Legislative Hall, and other points. First Saturday at First State Heritage Park, Dover, Jan. 2. www.destateparks.com/park/first-state-heritage/programs/index.asp

Making tracks

New Jersey. Family-friendly festival introduces cross-country skiing and snowshoeing to visitors. Featuring hikes with state park guides, New Jersey Nordic Ski Patrol display and demos. High Point Cross Country Ski Center, in state park. Winter Trails, Sussex, Jan. 9. www.visitnj.org/nj-events/winter-trails

Crazy drop #3

Maryland. With water and waterfowl at the heart of its heritage, this town goes to the ducks each New Year's Eve. The tradition began with a decoy-like mallard and now features a giant lighted duck. Duck Drop & Fireworks, Havre de Grace, Dec. 31. www.explorehavredegrace.com/event/new-years-eve-duck-drop-fireworks-2/

Ringing in the new

Delaware. Wilmington Handbell Ensemble performs a free seasonal concert. Warming Winter's Chill, Newark, Jan. 3. www.northdelawhere.happeningmag.com/event/wilmington-handbell-ensemble-concert

Crazy drop #4

Pennsylvania. It takes a crane to lower the giant Lebanon bologna, weighing nearly 200 pounds, that highlights this town's celebration. Music starts at 10 p.m. (Meat donated to local shelters.) New Year's Eve Bologna Drop, Lebanon, Dec. 31. www.lebanonpa.com/cla-events/

In good taste

New Jersey. Exhibitors of fine antiques, furniture, glass, silver, paintings, pottery, bronzes, and more gather at an elegant Georgian manor. Repair, restoration, and appraisal clinics offered. New Year's Antiques Show at Birchwood Manor, Whippany, Jan. 2-3. www.jmkshows.com/2016_01_02_antique_bw.html

Party hearty

New York. A Twelfth Night celebration as it might have been in the 18th century, with bonfires, music, traditional foods, wassail toasts. Starts at the Schuyler Mansion, then festivities continue across the river at another historic site. Salutations of the Season, Albany, Jan. 9. www.schuylerfriends.org/events.htm