WXIA-TV reports up to 4,000 spectators are expected this year at the annual event in the west Georgia city.
Tallapoosa Mayor Pete Bridges said townspeople slowly lower a mounted possum to the ground.
The mayor says the animal is in a beautifully lit cage as it is lowered, and the event is followed by fireworks.
Taxidermist Bud Jones cares for Spencer, the mounted Virginia possum who will make the New Year’s descent.
Jones said the animal “was road kill. He recalls that he “was going down the road one day and there was old Spencer in the road. So I jumped out and got him. And there he is.”