MAINE, USA — Here in Maine, we have many unique traditions to welcome a New Year. In 2020, New Year's Eve celebrations were either canceled or significantly scaled back due to COVID-19. That's why, despite the pandemic, some communities around the state are still planning to host events.
The annual New Year’s Eve Great Sardine and Maple Leaf event is back this year. At 11 p.m., as 2022 reaches Atlantic Canada, a 4-foot maple leaf will fall from the sky in front of the Tides Institute & Museum of Art. As the clock strikes midnight, an 8-foot, 20-pound sardine sculpture will then descend on downtown Eastport. It is considered good luck to kiss the sardine, but due to COVID precautions, folks will instead be able to place custom stickers on the fish. The event will be streamed online.
The second annual Festival of Lights is being held at the Beth C. Wright Cancer Resource Center. There is no charge to attend the festival. Members of the community are invited to gather safely outside to enjoy a night of surprise and wonder. The festival will be held on Friday and Saturday nights from 4:30-7 p.m. from Dec. 3-18 and also on Dec. 31. Call the center at 207-664-0339 to make reservations or sign up online.
The giant beach ball will once again be tossed off the roof of Paddy Murphys in West Market Square at the stroke of midnight. The celebration downtown will look a little different than in past years. Executive director of the Downtown Bangor Partnership Betsy Lundy says unlike previous celebrations there won’t be any live performances this New Year’s Eve. However, there is plenty for folks to do in the Queen City before the beach ball drop. You can find some ways to celebrate here.
New Year’s Auburn will feature live music, food trucks, and a beer garden. The activities will begin at 6 p.m. and wrap up with a fireworks display at 10 p.m.
Old Orchard Beach
The Last Blast New Year’s Eve Beach Party will be held on the strip of beach near the town amusement park and pier. A large bonfire will be set up on the beach around 4:30 p.m. Folks can toss their Christmas trees into the fire. A fireworks display will be held at 7:30 p.m.
The blueberry is back! The Wild Blueberry Ball Drop Countdown will be in person at the First Parish UU Church next to the Kennebunk Library and across from Town Hall. The church building will be closed to the public due to COVID. The blueberry will be dropped at 9 p.m. and then again at midnight.