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Anchor drops on a brand new year

Large crowd gathers at Overfalls to usher in 2013
The lighted anchor is ready to drop to start a new year. BY RON MACARTHUR
January 4, 2013

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.