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Possum Drop Will Go On Without Live Possum

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File photo of an opossum. (credit: JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of an opossum. (credit: JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)

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BRASSTOWN, N.C. (AP/CBS Charlotte) — A New Year’s Eve possum drop that attracts thousands of people to a tiny western North Carolina town will go on this year, with one big change: It won’t involve a live possum.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that Brasstown will have the event Dec. 31 but with a different guest of honor.

“We’re still going to do the event,” Clay Logan, the owner of Clay’s Corner store, told the Citizen-Times.

During past drops, the possum was suspended in a see-through box covered with tinsel and lowered to the ground at midnight.

Last month, a judge ruled a state agency lacked authority to issue a permit for the drop. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals had sued, calling the event illegal and cruel.

According to the paper, Judge Fred Morrison agreed, noting in his decision that “citizens are prohibited from capturing and using wild animals for pets or amusement.”

Logan has been doing the drop for years. He says he’s considering using a stuffed animal or maybe road kill this year. He said he expects the event to draw about 3,000 people to his little store in Clay County.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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