KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The Knoxville ball drop, the Gatlinburg ball drop, and the Big Apple ball drop are just some of the well-known New Year’s Eve traditions people enjoy to start their new year.
WATE 6 On Your Side took to Market Square on New Year’s Eve, before midnight, to ask families what their traditions are to ring in 2020.
“I go down to Maryville with my grandmother, because she lives down there, and we’ll just sit at home and relax and have a great time after Christmas, and then we’ll watch the ball drop on TV,” Jeremiah King said.
“(My) favorite New Year’s tradition is just getting together with family and enjoying our time together,” Rachel Breeding said.
Breeding was with her daughters and mother, about to start, what she hopes, would be a new family tradition for the New Years: ice skating in Market Square.
Maddie, one of Breeding’s daughters, said she hopes to start a new tradition of her own.
“Last year I stayed up until 11 p.m., but this year I want to stay up later,” Maddie said.
JR and Sherry Cortwright were keeping their tradition alive by visiting Knoxville for New Year’s.
This particular tradition started with their wedding in Las Vegas 18 years ago.
“Jan. 1 we got married. I always tease (JR) because Jan. 1, he’ll never forget out wedding anniversary. (JR) teases me and says it’s because of football. We can always sit and watch a bowl together,” Sherry Cortwright said.
JR Cortwright said that they travel every year for New Year’s, and they’ve been all over the country.
A few years ago, the couple traveled to Texas to watch the Arkansas Razorbacks play in a bowl game, instead of watching it on TV.
Another family came to Knoxville for New Year’s, but said they might be skipping out on one tradition because of it.
“People go out with a suitcase and they have to go around the block. So that means, if you’re going to do that, you’re going to travel during that year,” Alex Villaro said.
Villaro said he probably wouldn’t be doing that this year because his family is from Miami and the weather is just a little too cold in Knoxville.
Many family traditions involve food as well.
“My wife does. She has to have black-eyed peas, but not me. But my wife has to have black-eyed peas,” JR Cortwright said.
“It could be pork, it could be chicken, ham, mashed potatoes (and) salads,” Villaro said.