Weiser needs a New Year’s Eve vegetable

Steve Lyon
They know how to have fun over
in Rupert, or at least make a good
faith effort at a good time.
Someone had the semi-brilliant idea
of creating a big sugarbeet to ring in the
New Year. They will be dropping it in
Rupert Square (they have a square?) at
midnight to welcome 2020.
According to Magic Valley
news sources, the locals
in Rupert wanted to do their
own New Year’s Eve vegetable
drop to rival the famous
potato drop in Boise.
They also grow a lot of
spuds over in Rupert, but I
guess the two-ton tuber idea
was already taken and they
went with the next best thing,
an enormous sugarbeet.
The lighted beet will stand
22 feet tall and 12 feet in diameter.
A local machine shop
constructed the 1,500-pound beet out of
perforated metal. It will be lowered by a
crane at the appointed hour.
I haven’t seen any photos of the big
sugarbeet. Maybe they are keeping it
under wraps for now. There is supposed
to be a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the
vegetable prior to the party.
Which prompts me to pose this question:
What is Weiser doing to ring in the
New Year? Where is the tradition here
that we can revel in as a community? We
don’t have a potato or a sugarbeet to drop
when the clock strikes midnight.
We could go with a giant Spanish
sweet onion. That has potential
for great promotional
purposes. We’re famous for
our yellow onions. Farmers
in southwest Idaho and
southeast Oregon grow more
than a billion pounds of onions
annually that are packed
and shipped all over the U.S.
I’m a big fan of the yellow
onion. Between salsa and
onion slices on a sandwich,
I eat far more sweet onions
than potatoes, if you don’t
count potato chips.
The Idaho-Eastern Oregon
Onion Committee would put up
some marketing money, for sure, just like
the Idaho Potato Commission loves the
publicity that the New Year’s Eve spud
drop in Boise brings.
It’s just a matter of time before Ontario
runs with the idea of a New Year’s Eve
onion drop.
• • •
The nightlight parade on Friday was
a lot of fun for everyone who attended.
The weather cooperated with a clear
night and not-too-chilly temperatures.
You never know in early December.
Kudos to all who participated in the
parade and made the evening one to remember
for a while. The kids watching
along State Street collected enough candy
to rival Halloween.
Santa told me he tossed more than 300
pounds of candy along the parade route.
He’s an old pro at getting the crowd
pumped up about the tree lighting at the
train depot after the parade.
The fireworks lit up the night sky right
on cue. The firemen with the Weiser City
Fire and Rescue do a great job with the
Everyone could stroll over to the Vendome
after the fun and warm up in the
winter wonderland of decorations and
Christmas trees.
There is still a lot of entertainment going
on around town to check out leading
up to Christmas. We’ll try to keep you
posted with the dates and times.
Steve Lyon is the editor of the Weiser
Signal American. Contact him at


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Weiser, ID 83672
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