When the ball drops at midnight to ring in the new year, Jeff Fishman hopes some eyes will be on Frederick to see the start of a new tradition.Fishman, past president of the Civitan Club of Frederick, has seen a pickle used to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Dillsburg, Pa. and a bologna in Lebanon, Pa.For Frederick, he wants to see a 5-foot-by-2 1/2-foot wooden key dropped from the suspension bridge over Carroll Creek by the C. Burr Artz Library on New Year’s Eve.“Like our little, miniature version of Times Square,” Fishman said Monday. “We’re just doing it for the fun of it, and to give back to the city and, hopefully, help some of the merchants.”Frederick has become associated with the key to honor Francis Scott Key, author of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” To build the wooden key, Fishman commissioned construction technology students at the Maryland School for the Deaf.“This was something that’s going to be represented in the community,” senior Austin Cerasoli, 17, said Monday through a sign-language interpreter. “A lot of people don’t recognize the school or know we’re here.”During parts of the last week, the high school students created a template, cut the wood, sanded it and painted it white. “I think that we’re able to interact and relate with the community,” Cerasoli said.The students were proud of their work.“Ours was the dirty work of the job,” 16-year-old sophomore Jake Bonheyo signed. Junior Nakia Rentschler of Columbia said she learned a lot about operating as a business to complete the project for their client.“We made some mistakes along the way, but we were able to learn from those mistakes,” she said. Those who see the key on New Year’s Eve will learn about the work that went into it from the students at MSD.Bonheyo saw it as a positive for the city.“It will bring the community together in a bonding experience,” Bonheyo said. “That way we’ll be able to celebrate as one community — one big family.”Teacher Cam Overs said the construction technology class is a requirement at the Maryland School for the Deaf. He said he looks for projects like the one from the Civitan Club to mix in with the curriculum.“They are doing more than just projects they take home,” Overs said. “It gives value to the work. ... It was a good challenge for them. It should hold up for several years.”Some students said they would do their best to be there New Year’s Eve.Bonheyo, however, wasn’t ready to give up on the more well-known tradition of Times Square.“I think I would prefer to watch the ball drop,” he said. “It’s not as exciting to me as watching the ball drop in New York.”The finished product will be given to the Civitan Club of Frederick to decorate it.Fishman plans to put lights on the key and have it say 2013.This will be the first year the key is dropped in Frederick.Fishman doesn’t expect a huge turnout, but he hopes residents will come out about 11:30 p.m. for some festivities and bring their party hats and noisemakers for midnight. “We’re just trying to get the word out,” he said. “We’re really hoping it grows in the coming years.”

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