Boyertown Historical Society to ring in New Years via ‘Bear Drop'

Jim Bodiford, Boyertown Area Historical Society, with the bear at a prior Bear Drop in Boyertown. Bodiford is the designer and operator of the apparatus used for the Bear Drop.

Come join the fun, as well as what’s becoming a regular New Year’s Eve tradition, at the Boyertown Area Historical Society’s 4th annual ‘Nei Yohr Bar Rutsch.’ That translates as ‘New Year Bear Drop’ for those who are English speakers.

The idea was developed by Historical Society Director Lindsay Dierolf and her husband, Barry, after a visit to see their daughter in Harrisburg some years ago. That’s where they found out about the New York City style New Year’s Eve celebrations held there and in some other Pennsylvania towns. They thought that if Harrisburg, Lebanon, Mechanicsburg and Dillsburg can have their Strawberry, Bologna, Wrench and Pickle Drops, respectively, well then Boyertown should drop something too.

Lindsay set about convincing others at the Historical Society and the ‘Bear Drop’ was born. By the way, for anyone who’s driven through Boyertown, the choice of a bear, the community’s mascot, should not be a surprise.

While not quite the magnitude of the New Year’s Eve Times Square celebration, the first event was held at midnight in 2010 and attracted a small crowd. In subsequent years, the event drew more people who wanted to get a look at the storied bear. Last year, in an effort to make the event more family friendly, it was decided to have the bear come down a bit earlier in the day, at 6 p.m., rather than at midnight. As it turns out, this coincides with the stroke of midnight in Germany and, as with the official name of the event, pays tribute to the Boyertown area’s rich Pennsylvania German (Dutch) heritage.

Over the past three years, the Nei Yohr Bar Rutsch has gained more attention and members of the Historical Society hope it will continue to grow and eventually maybe even rival some of the other major New Year’s Eve events. New York City only has that glittery ball thing, after all!

The event is open to the public and held from 4- 6 p.m. on December 31, at the Historical Society building located at 43 South Chestnut Street in Boyertown. Snacks, refreshments and some activities will be provided ahead of the Bear Drop. Admission is free but donations are always much appreciated to help defray expenses and to benefit the Historical Society.

For directions or other questions related to this event, please call the Boyertown Area Historical Society at 610-367-5255. Also, please feel free to visit the Historical Society’s website at boyertownhistory.org or Facebook page to learn more about the Society and the many other activities, programs and services that are offered. Come to one of the interesting monthly presentations by great speakers or come along on one of the ghost walks or paranormal survey outings and be amazed! Hope to see you soon and Happy Holidays to all!

Story and photo courtesy of the Boyertown Area Historical Society.