Hagerstown doughnut drop rings in 2014

Thousands lined the streets of Hagerstown to watch the doughnut drop. Photo: Van Applegate

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WJLA) - A town that predates the birth of the United States ushered in one of the nation's newest - and most delicious - New Year's Eve traditions on Tuesday.

Thousands of revelers turned out to downtown Hagerstown to watch the dropping of a paper mâché doughnut over what looked like a mini-Times Square to ring in 2014.

The event, which took place 5 hours before midnight in an attempt to be family-friendly, was spurred along by the giveaway of 2,000 free doughnuts from Krumpe's Do-Nuts, a Hagerstown icon.

"We started a couple hours ago making doughnuts," owner Max Krumpe said. "Look at all these people here. It's great."

The massive donut dropped over the center of town was handcrafted by father-and-son team Dave and Dave Schleigh, who laid out the giant fake confection in their garage.

On any other night, you want your dough to rise, but to usher in 2014, it fell over this western Maryland town in front of a crowd satisfied by sweetness and mesmerized by a 6-foot-tall icon.

"It's strange, but it makes sense," Schleigh said. "He laid it all out and we built it in my garage."

If a giant doughnut can prove anything, it's that big things can still happen in small towns.

"It's a great thing," Hagerstown resident Dennis Hite said. "hagerstown needs something to be recognized for."