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Shannon Bryan

Shannon Bryan has a fondness for Maine’s peculiar goings on. And helmet cams. There’s definitely a fondness for helmet cams.   Since she arrived in Maine 10 years ago, it’s been her mission to experience it all firsthand – from the cardboard boat races to the paddleboard jousting tournaments. With any luck, she’ll persuade you to try it, too.

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Posted: December 17, 2014

Bring on 2015: New Year’s Eve events in Maine

From galas and dancing to hikes, bonfires and polar dips, this New Year’s Eve has something just for you.

Written by: Shannon Bryan

Looking to ring in the new year with live music? New Year’s Eve Music Events: Ring in 2015 with Live Music


New Year’s Eve Charity Gala

Dinner starts at 5:30 p.m., music starts at 8:30 p.m. | Boone’s Fish House & Oyster Room, 86 Commercial St., Portland | $105 music and dinner, $85 dinner only, $25 music only | For reservations: 207-774-5725
Welcome 2015 with a five-course meal, live music from The Jason Spooner Band and a good cause. Proceeds from the charity gala support No Kid Hungry: Share Our Strength, which aims to end childhood hunger. You’ll be doing good and having a grand time. Also: Dancing, ice luge, champagne toast and midnight balloon drop.

Grace New Year’s Eve Bash

9 p.m. to 1 a.m. | Grace Restaurant, 15 Chestnut St., Portland | $20 |
You will be greeted with champagne. Enough said. You’ll also get to dance the night away to DJ tunes and know that ticket proceeds benefit Good Shepherd Food Bank. Tickets:


9 p.m. (doors and hors d’oeuvres at 8:30 p.m.) | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland |
Formal attire is highly recommended at the SPACE BALL 2K15. If lookin’ sharp for sharp’s sake isn’t enough for you, consider this: Free drinks to some of the night’s best dressed. Local DJs God.Damn.Chan., Don Damiani and Che Ros will be there to help guide you into 2015. Hors d’oeuvres served at 8:30 p.m.

NRCM’s Polar Bear Dip and Dash

11 a.m. (5K), noon (dip) | Back Cove and East End Beach, Portland | $35 |
Prepare for the new year by washing away the old one with a cleansing – and cold! – dip into the frigid Atlantic. The Natural Resources Council of Maine’s Polar Bear Dip and Dash includes a 5K around Back Cove before participants sprint into the water at East End Beach. The $35 entry fee includes the run and the dip, but you can also choose to do just one or the other. And depending on how your New Years Eve festivities go, you might want to take another cleansing dip on New Years Day in Old Orchard Beach during the annual Lobster Dip, which benefits Special Olympics Maine.

Comedian Bob Marley

7 p.m. | $48 | Merrill Auditorium, Portland |
Life isn’t always a laughing situation. Times get tough, budgets get tight. But who wants to think about that nonsense on New Year’s Eve? Take a load off for once and laugh the hassles of 2014 right out the door. Comedian Bob Marley is hosting this holiday show for the 15th year, which means the whole “laugh in the new year” concept must be working. Shows on Dec. 26, 27, 28 as well.

New Years Eve Ballroom Dance Party

7 to 11 p.m. | $12 (plus a $5 coupon toward a future visit) | Maplewood Dance Center, 383 Warren Ave.,
Portland |
Put a little cha cha into your 2015. Maplewood Dance Center is hosting their usual evening for ballroom dance (they do it every Wednesday, so feel free to drop in another week if you can’t make it on NYE). All levels are welcome.

South Portland

Midnight Masquerade

Evening starts at 6:30 p.m., dinner at 7:30 p.m. and dancing at 9 p.m. | $50 or $85 for buffet dinner and reserved seating | Portland Marriott at Sable Oaks, South Portland |
Find your favorite mask for the Midnight Masquerade. There will be dancing to the Bob Charest Band, late-night snacks, champagne toast and a celebratory Mardi Gras feel. $85 ticket includes hors d’oeuvres and buffet dinner.


Clam Drop New Year’s Eve

The clam drops at 7 p.m. | First Universalist Church, 97 Main St., Yarmouth | Free |
Forget midnight ball drops – there’s a clam drop to mark midnight at the First Universalist Church in Yarmouth. You might recognize Steamer, the Yarmouth Clam Festival mascot, as he’s lowered from the church belfry (his lively smile never wavers, despite his precarious position). Music, hot cocoa and cookies, to boot.


New Year’s at the Hut

Dinner at 6 p.m., stay overnight | Stratton Brook Hut and Flagstaff Hut, Maine Huts & Trails, Kingfield | $108 adults, $54 for 17 and under |
Get out of dodge for the new year. Like way out. Leave the car at the trailhead and hike, snowshoe, or ski the trail to either the Stratton Brook Hut or the Flagstaff Hut in Kingfield. Relax by the fireplace and enjoy a festive four-course meal of locally sourced ingredients and a champagne toast. In the morning, you’ll be treated to a home-cooked breakfast and get a packed trail lunch for your first-day-of-2015 adventuring.

Old Orchard Beach

Last Blast Bonfire Beach Party

Starting at 5 p.m. (fireworks at 7:30 p.m.) | Town Square and on the beach, Old Orchard Beach |
Maybe it’s the beach bonfire, maybe it’s the ride on the carousel, or maybe you just want to welcome 2015 while eating kettle corn and drinking hot cocoa near the arcade (the arcade is open 3:30-8:30 p.m.). Whatever the reason, Last Blast celebrates the new year in true OOB style. Bring your Christmas tree to add to the fire, stay for some marshmallow roasting and catch the fireworks at 7:30 p.m.


New Year’s Eve Celebration at L.L. Bean

11 a.m. to 6 p.m.| Free | L.L. Bean, Freeport |
It’s a ôKidNight Celebrationö at L.L. Bean’s flagship store in Freeport. And by ôKidNightö I think they mean both ôchildrenö and ôthose of us who find it hard to stay awake past 8:30 p.m., regardless of whether or not kids are involved.ö Music from Rick Charette and fireworks at the end of the evening.


New Year Gorham

Activities throughout the day | Various locations, Gorham | $5 lanyard, $20 family package |
It’s a New Year’s Eve celebration for the whole family, with ice skating, a spaghetti dinner, variety show, comedy, face painting, crafts, and music throughout the day at various locations throughout town. Fireworks take over the skies over Gorham High School at 10 p.m. The grownups can head over to Spire 29 for music and dancing with DJ Mike Mahoney during New Year’s Eve on the Square.

New Year’s Eve on the mountains

2015 is all downhill from here. Assuming, of course, you celebrated New Year’s Eve on a hill. A big one. Maine’s mountains are ringing in the new year with night skiing, fireworks and festivities. At Sunday River, ride the Chondola up to Peak Lodge for a mountain-top dining experience. Sugarloaf is celebrating with a Masquerade Ball, a magic show and fireworks.
New Year’s Eve at Sunday River
Activities all day |
New Year’s Eve at Sugarloaf
Activities all day |


Dickie Hyper-Hynie’s Rockin’ New Years Eve

7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. | Johnson Hall Performing Arts Center, Water Street, Gardiner | $15 |
Pick your time slot for this family-friendly variety show featuring comedy, juggling, dancing, music and ôreally, really bad magic.ö A host of guests will take the stage along with Dickie Hyper Hynie (a character created and performed by Mike Miclon).


Downtown Countdown in Bangor

Most events begin at 8 p.m. | Multiple locations, Bangor |
The ball drops at midnight in Westmarket Square, where the crowd will gather to welcome in 2015. At various venues around town, there will be live music, comedy, fire twirlers, theater and more.


New Year’s Eve Party

8 p.m. | City Side Restaurant and Banquet Hall, 393 North Main St., Brewer | $15 per person, $25 couples | 207-989-2626
Be a little bit country this NYE during the New Year’s Eve Party with The Mainely Country Band. Hear some country favorites (a little light rock will be mixed in, too). Finger foods and cash bar.


The Bob In’s Masquerade Ball

9 p.m. to 1 a.m. | The Bob In Bar & Lounge, 17 Temple St., Waterville
The Bob In goes Victorian for their end-of-year party. BYOMask to this masquerade ball or buy one from the Bob In.


New Year’s By The Bay, Belfast

2 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. | Downtown Belfast | $18 (19+), $5 (ages 6-18), under 5 free |
It’s a chem-free and family friendly NYE in downtown Belfast, with several venues hosting live entertainment throughout the evening – music, storytelling, juggling, magic, performance and more. The venues are all within walking distance of each other, so you can catch some bluegrass at one place and jazz poetry at another.


The Great Sardine and Maple Leaf Drop

1 p.m. to midnight | Multiple venues in Eastport |
Celebrants seeking tradition – yet something entirely nontraditional – can find both at the annual Sardine and Maple Leaf Drop in Eastport. At 11 p.m., a maple leaf will be lowered from the Tides Institute & Museum of Art in Bank Square. At midnight, down goes the 8-foot-long Great Sardine.

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