PERRY -- If you cant get rid of the buzzards in Perry, make them the citys official mascot.
That is precisely what the Perry Main Street board decided to do for the citys New Years Eve celebration when it chose to have a buzzard drop as its countdown to ring in, or caw in, 2014.
The idea was formed from a group sitting around drinking coffee, lamenting there was no local New Years Eve party to go to, said Mary Beth Bass, economic development director for the city of Perry.
Because there were buzzards in the area roosting at the citys water tower, someone jokingly suggested dropping a buzzard.
From that sort of tongue in cheek idea, Bass said, the Downtown Development Authority decided to create a mechanical buzzard to coincide with the countdown to midnight.
This will be Perrys first time hosting a New Years Eve event.
Aside from the buzzard drop, there will be live entertainment from the Celebration Band from 9 p.m.-12:30 a.m.
Bill ONeal, a member of the band, said there will be a lot of dance music as well as favorites. The eight-person band consists of ONeal as one of two lead vocalists, three horn players, two guitarists and a drummer.
Its all fun music that brings back a lot of memories, he said.
Perry will use its recreation department vans to take city residents home at the end of the night, said Perry Mayor Jimmy Faircloth.
Food and alcohol are available during the street party, which will take place downtown. Rustys, a downtown restaurant, will create a signature buzzard drink for the occasion.
The New Perry Hotel will sell breakfast after the event and also will have rooms available.
Despite the carrion bird being a nuisance for city residents, the town seems to have adopted its unofficial mascot.
It took some convincing, said Faircloth. But the joke is, if you cant beat them, join them.
Perry Buzzard Drop
When: 9 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Dec. 31
Where: Downtown Perry