The New Year’s Eve Pickle descends down the flagpole at the stroke of 7 p.m. midnight – that’s 7 o’clock EST, which also happens to be midnight Greenwich Mean Time. (That way, we are official, we shout Happy New Year! – and we don’t have to stay up until midnight.) In the last several years thousands have turned out to watch the lighted, three-foot pickle drop down the company’s 45-foot flagpole and into a perfectly preserved redwood pickle tank at precisely 7 o’clock. Video screens mark the countdown of the year’s final hour, from 6-7 p.m. The Harmony Boys will perform from 5:30-6:15, and then deejay L.J. Manley will lead the crowd in line dancing. Free refreshments – hot chocolate, cookies and pickles — are also served. Another part of the Pickle Drop tradition is the canned food drive for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. Those bringing canned food or who make financial contributions receive a chance to win door prizes at the evening’s end. The grand prize is a pool pickle similar to the one that is dropped.