Pa. town to ring in New Year with giant mushroom

KENNETT SQUARE, Pa. (AP) — A town near Philadelphia that's famous for fungus will ring in 2014 with a giant mushroom.

The 700-pound, stainless steel toadstool will be lowered from a crane Dec. 31 as residents of Kennett Square count down to the New Year.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports (http://bit.ly/IgVoAq) the sculpture will be more than 7 feet wide and 8 feet tall.

Kennett Square calls itself the mushroom capital of the world because area farms account for about half of U.S. mushroom production.

The mushroom joins a slew of quirky New Year's Eve traditions in Pennsylvania.

In Bethlehem, residents celebrate Jan. 1 by lowering an 85-pound statue of a Marshmallow Peep, since the treats are made locally. In Easton, officials drop a 10-foot-tall lighted crayon because the city is home to Crayola Inc.

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Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer, http://www.philly.com