Princess Anne, Md. to mark New Year's Eve with muskrat

      (Photo courtesy Alan Vernon via Flickr)

      PRINCESS ANNE, Md. (AP) - A Maryland town is marking New Year's Eve not with a ball drop but a muskrat drop.

      Officials in Princess Anne plan to observe midnight at a new street party by lowering a stuffed muskrat with a bow tie and top hat from the top of a ladder truck.

      The muskrat inhabits local marshes near the town, so officials decided it would be an appropriate animal for the job.

      The hardest part was finding one. The Daily Times of Salisbury reports officials borrowed a mounted and preserved muskrat from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

      Local students named the animal Marshall P. Muskrat. Admission to the New Year's Eve ceremony is free.