KEY WEST (CBSMiami) – Thousands of tourists and residents of Key West packed Duval Street to ring in 2012 with the “drop” of a renowned female impersonator perched in a super-sized red high heel. The annual “drag queen drop” was an offbeat warm-weather take-off on the traditional New Year’s Eve “ball drop” in New York’s Times Square.

With temperatures in Key West at 70 F at midnight the lavishly gowned drag queen Sushi was lowered from the Bourbon Street Pub complex’s balcony toward the crowd below. She landed land and popped the cork on a ceremonial bottle of champagne to welcome 2012.

The “drag queen drop” wasn’t the only unique New Year’s Eve celebration to be staged in Key West. On lower Duval Street, crowds watched the descent of a gigantic manmade conch shell, the symbol of the Florida Keys, to the flat roof of Sloppy Joe’s Bar.

At the Schooner Wharf Bar, In the island city’s Historic Seaport, New Year’s Eve revelry saluted the Florida Keys’ seafaring heritage with the “drop” of a pirate wench from the top of a sailing ship’s mast.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Florida Keys News Bureau contributed to this report.)


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