Local Students Aid in Creation of Shamrock for Shamrock Drop
Every New Year’s Eve, crowds gather to watch the brilliantly lit shamrock descend from atop the historic Fred Roberts building as they ring in the new year with family and friends during the traditional Shamrock Drop in Dublin.
In 2015, the City Council of Dublin made the decision to institute the Shamrock Drop as a New Year’s Eve Tradition and recruited the help of Oconee Fall Line Technical College (OFTC) students to design and create the shamrock center piece.
“After the council agreed that it was a good idea, I spent the next two weeks designing the shamrock and rounding up help from OFTC’s Electronics and Welding Technology programs, as well as Fulghum Powdercoating, Wild Bore Machine, and Colorwheel Signs,” said David Hall, Machine Tool Instructor at OFTC. “It took about three weeks to manufacture all the parts; we spent our entire Christmas break getting it done in time for New Year’s Eve.”
Students from the college’s welding program performed all the welding on the shamrock creation, the electronics program students handled the lighting, and the machine tool students designed and built all the parts. “Other than some guidance from their instructors, the students did all the work,” Hall said. “They spent some of their time off working to set it up and operate it for the first two years of the Shamrock Drop.”
While the city of Dublin is responsible for operation of the lighted Shamrock now, the students in these technical programs at OFTC still perform maintenance on some of the parts. “Josh Bridges and his welding students performed some repairs to it this year,” Hall shared, “and we removed the six and replaced it with a seven to make the shamrock ready to ring in year 2017.”