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Unusual Tradition of Celebrating the New Year

The year 2006 turned out to be a banner year for the town of Black in Geneva County. The town received a grant and loan to upgrade its 40-year-old water system.

Several residents believe the town's unusual tradition of celebrating New Year's brings good luck.

Since the 1950's, residents have been gathering to throw "fire balls" at each other.

The balls consist of twine, which are soaked in kerosene, which allows each participant to grab the ball before burning.

"If you just hold on to it, it'll burn you. Ball of fire, but if you throw it right away, it's okay. I’ve never been burned by them," says Eddy Showers, Black resident.

Showers says those inexperienced in fire balling should not attempt it without proper supervision. He says it can be very dangerous.


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