Cape Gazette

Anchor drops on a brand new year

Large crowd gathers at Overfalls to usher in 2013
By Ron MacArthur | Jan 04, 2013
Photo by: Ron MacArthur The lighted anchor is ready to drop to start a new year.

Lewes — New York City has the ball drop, Miami Beach has the orange drop and nearby Princess Anne, Md., has its stuffed muskrat drop. Lewes has an anchor drop on the Lightship Overfalls to join other cities with iconic ways to usher in the new year.

Held at Canalfront Park and sponsored by the Overfalls Foundation, the lighted anchor was dropped from the mast of the ship to the deck 10 seconds before midnight with a large crowd on hand, most huddled around fires to ward off the chill. Once the anchor hit the deck, a large blast from the ship's whistle officially marked the start of 2013.

Foundation President Tracy Mulveny said the event started last year in celebration of the Overfalls being named a National Historic Landmark. "We wanted a fun, family friendly event that would wind down the holiday season and signal a new year of activities surrounding the Lightship Overfalls," she said. "We hoped the celebration would become another tradition honoring the maritime heritage of the Lewes community. So far I think we have been very successful."

Built in Maine in 1938, the Lightship Overfalls is one of the only two lightships built in the 20th century and was the last one to be commissioned by the U.S. Light House Service. The vessel was donated to the Lewes Historical Society by the U.S. Coast Guard in 1973.

The second annual event was attended by about 250 people, which is almost twice the crowd at the inaugural anchor drop.

Bethanne and Josh Marlowe came from Georgetown to ring in the new year at the anchor drop. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
New Year's Eve revelers keep warm around a fire pit as they wait for the stroke of midnight. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
The Lightship Overfalls is aglow during the last few minutes of 2012. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
The lighted anchor begins its decent to the deck of the Overfalls. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
Overfalls volunteer John Kyritsis helps guide the anchor to the deck of the famous ship. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
Overfalls volunteer John Mavromatis gets ropes and guide line untangled to ensure a trouble-free anchor drop. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
A large crowd ushers in the new year in Canalfront Park in downtown Lewes. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
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