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Ringing in the New Year with Door County's Red Cherry

Posted at 4:56 PM, Dec 29, 2023
  • Video shows the New Year's Eve Cherry coming out of storage.
  • With the mild weather, Jaime Forest says they expect around 4,000 visitors this year.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

For its seventh year, Sister Bay is hosting the Cherry Drop. I’m your Door County neighborhood reporter Katlyn Holt and I got a behind the scenes look at the fruit and the work that goes into the event.

A regional celebration.

"I am the official cherry handler… for New Year's Eve at least," laughed Forest.

Jaime Forest is not only the cherry handler but the vice president of FM 106.9 the Lodge. The cherry drop is the stations only event according to Forest.

"It was kind of this brainchild of, well, maybe we should do something, and wouldn't it be nice if we had a giant cherry in homage to Door County and that's sort of how it was born," said Forest.

Forest says they wanted the Cherry Drop to be in the off-season so the community could enjoy it.

"Cherry Drop is really starting to become a tradition," said Forest.

This tradition for many was started in part by forests brother and father, who welded the more than 300-pound cherry together.

She says there are between 700-800 LED lights on the cherry.

"This was made about seven years ago. It's not particularly pretty during the daylight patinaed and rusted but it's gorgeous at night when it's all lit up,” said Forest, "You don't call the cherry manufacturer and order one of these."

I met a group that was visiting from out of state; Robert Talarico, Caitlin Curtis, Christian Chavez, and Skyla Baldwin.

“It was kind of cool to watch like the cherry just come down. Everybody's yelling and it was just fun,” said Curtis.

Back this year, they plan to attend again, and for their friends who are experiencing for the first time they said they have an idea of what to expect.

“Like New York but in Wisconsin,” said Baldwin.

They won’t be alone. Forest says with the mild weather they are expecting a turnout of about 4,000 people this year.

With fireworks and light displays, she says there will be a lot for people to do as we wait to welcome the new year.

“Enjoying things with your family as well as the late-night revelers which is kind of our crowd. Party tunes at 10:30 and of course the big countdown at midnight,” said Forest.

Sister Bay will have a New Year’s Eve shuttle bus service with multiple stops, click here to view the schedule.