700-pound spore to descend on Kennett Square for New Year’s Eve
By Kathleen Brady Shea, Managing Editor, The Times
Move over, Manhattan: Kennett Square is poised to supplant Times Square as the go-to destination for New Year’s Eve.
After all, who wants to watch a boring ball when the sky can be lit up with a fancifully festive fungus? That’s right, a lighted, 700-pound, stainless steel mushroom measuring 8 feet by 7 ½ feet will descend 80 feet from a crane during the Mushroom Capital of the World’s inaugural Midnight in the Square.
After listening to a presentation from Kathi Lafferty, the maestro behind the Mushroom Festival, Kennett Square Borough Council unanimously approved the New Year’s Eve special-event application at its meeting Monday night.
Elaborating on the plans, Lafferty explained that the idea originated from State Rep. John Lawrence, and that its scope appropriately mushroomed as members of the community, including the Kennett Area Restaurant and Merchant Association (KARMA), got involved. For example, Bob’s Cranes stepped up to provide the necessary equipment – “We lower; we don’t drop,” Lafferty said she was told – and Manfredi’s Cold Storage will find a spot to store the giant spore, Lafferty said.
She’s hoping that Longwood Gardens, home of master illuminators, will assist with the lighting the iconic mushroom, which is being fashioned by M & P Custom Design Inc. Lafferty said she would be contacting local vendors to see who might be interested in selling food. She has already reached out to the Kennett Food Cupboard and will request that everyone who attends bring a non-perishable food item. The cupboard will have a truck on site to accept donations, Lafferty said.
“I think it’s fantastic,” said Borough Councilman Geoffrey R. Bosley of the presentation as his colleagues nodded.