Last night’s Lebanon New Year’s Eve bologna drop included a first-ever addition: The Bologna Ranger, a papier-mâché anthropomorphized six-foot-tall piece of bologna.
As the Lebanon Daily News reported last month, the Ranger was a departure from the typical 200 pound bologna drop traditionally practiced in Lebanon. As Lebanon BID director John Tice told the paper, “I’ve been asked to make things grow. If it’s not drawing a crowd, we need to tweak it.”
Tice deserves a lot of credit for pushing the envelope and trying something new. As Lebanon continues to explore revitalization efforts, freedom to fail will be a hugely important concept. Not every move will please every person, and that’s okay. But it may perhaps be fitting to grant the Bologna Ranger an early retirement, and continue the exploration process to try and make the bologna drop even better next year.
It comes down to the fact that it’s hard to anthropomorphize any cylindrical dark-colored object without the less mature among us seeing it as something unseemly.
Much of the feedback was polite. As one Lebanon man commented, “I love my city however this change is tough to swallow. Dropping an actual Bologna was different and symbolized the product we produce however this kinda puts a foolish look to it all. I appreciate all the efforts and vision of those putting in countless hours of work for this event as you deserve a round of applause I just don’t agree.”
But not everyone was so tactful. A number of people commented with the “?” emoji on a picture thread posted by County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz, whose images we included at the top of the post.
Here’s how the design had been conceived in sketch format:
Jo Ellen also posted vide of the drop, which you can see below.
A number of people reacted on Twitter, including Lebanon Mayor Sherry Cappello who praised the event and a few others who offered feedback on the Ranger.
A big part of embracing failure is maintaining our civility and good humor when discussing plans that don’t work out exactly as we envisioned. The bologna drop is one of Lebanon’s most whimsical holiday traditions and we look forward to further experimentation and fun around the event in the future.