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Permanent pole for Akron’s New Year’s Eve shoe drop
It was cold and windy Friday morning, Dec. 14, as a small group of Akronites gathered to witness the installation of a permanent pole to hold the town’s most famous shoe as it makes its slow New Year’s Eve descent at the Broad Street playground.
The pole, the platform on which the shoe will sit and the crank to send the shoe skyward then bring it down in time for the New Year were made and donated by Stoner Industrial Services of Denver. The pole weighs about half a ton, goes into the ground for a few feet then towers a full 40 feet over the playground. Jim Rupert and A. J. Kline, from Stoner Industrial Services brought the pole to Akron from the company’s plant in Denver and used a company crane to get it into place.
Barb McMinn, who said she is chairing the shoe drop committee for the last time this year — after a five-year run — said the new pole will be hoisting a like-new shoe this year. Faith Geib, who lives in Manheim and calls herself a jack-of-all-trades, donated her labor to recover, rebuild and restore the shoe. She sewed a canvas cover for it, installed new rope-light laces and made it ready for its ceremonial duties.
Dick Wanner is a staff reporter and photographer for the Record Express and Ephrata Review. He welcomes reader feedback and story ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.