April 05, 2020

New Year’s 2001 What to do and where to go

Revelers who put off ringing in the millennium last year because it was overhyped or who stayed home to be on the lookout for Y2K bug, have quite a few celebrations to choose this year.

Lubec will not be vying with Eastport for the honor of catching the “first light” on the new dawn. Folks wanting to watch the sun rise on 2001 from atop Cadillac Mountain will have to hike the 9-mile round trip on foot rather than driving up the Park Loop Road.

Belfast and Portland again will hold what have become traditional First Night events. Both feature afternoon and early evening activities for children and seniors. Evening programs are designed with teen-agers and adults in mind.

While the hoopla will not be quite what it was last year, there are plenty of options for Mainers to choose from when it comes to New Year’s Eve festivities. Whether revelers are 8 months or 80 years old, there is a celebration somewhere around the state where they can toss some confetti and blow in the New Year.

Below is just a sampling of events around the state.


The Memphis Belles first performed together a decade ago at a fund-raiser for the American Red Cross. Darlene Mogul, Penny Weinstein and Pat Cummings were an immediate hit with their Andrews Sisters style of singing.

They have been performing together ever since and even recorded an album of classic songs from the World War II era.

To celebrate their 10th anniversary, the Memphis Belles will perform at a New Year’s Eve party to benefit the Red Cross from 8:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Isaac Farrar Mansion on Union Street.

Tickets are $50 per person or $100 per couple and include hot hors d’oeuvres, a midnight buffet breakfast, champagne toast and cash bar. Tickets are available at the Bangor Letter Shop and Patrick’s Hallmark Shop in Bangor. For more information, call 941-2903.

The Anah Temple Mosque will open its New Year’s Eve dance to the public for the first time this year. Sponsored by Anah’s Drum and Bugle Unit, it will feature music by the New Society Dance Band from 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

Tickets are $25 per person and include a buffet breakfast and party favors. The dance floor will be smoke-free, with a smoking lounge available in an outer room. Tickets are available at Twin City Auto Supply. For more information, call Ralph Fraser, 989-3140.

WHMX-FM will sponsor a chem-free New Year’s Eve party at 8 p.m. at the Bangor Civic Center. Comedian Paul McMcGinty, singer Kendall Payne and Christian rock band The Normals will perform.

Billed as a “clean comedian,” McGinty has been an actor, a comedy radio show host, a stand-up comic and “a cut-up at the family dinner table.” Singer-songwriter Payne’s first album, “Jordan’s Sister,” features songs about issues young women face today. She toured with Lilith Fair in 1998.

The Normals will perform songs from their new album, “Coming to Life.” The five-member band will perform their own compositions inspired by the Bible, theologians and their own lives. Tickets for the event are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. For information, call 947-2751.


New Year’s by the Bay is one of the few First Night festivals to offer lessons in curling and a Senior Sparkler. Events in this coastal community start at 3 p.m. with maritime music by the Old Grey Goose and teen art exhibit at the library.

The evening ends with an ecumenical worship service at the Baptist church followed by fireworks at the city landing and breakfast at the Belfast Curling Club.

Magicians, storytellers, dancers and a variety of musical groups will perform at venues throughout the downtown area. Free shuttle bus service will run from the Boathouse, Reny’s Plaza, Post Office Square and the Puddle Dock Parking Lot.

Modeled after Portland’s successful New Year’s event, Belfast’s celebration, now in its fourth year, has come into its own. Admission buttons for all events are $10 for adults, $5 for K-grade 12 and children under 5 are free.

Buttons may be purchased the day of the event or at many vendors in Belfast. For more information, visit their Web site at www.nybb.org.

Bar Harbor

Last Night, First Light will be theme of New Year’s Eve festivities in and around Acadia National Park. While most celebrations end with a fireworks display, Bar Harbor will kick off festivities with a pyrotechnic show at 7 p.m. at the town pier.

A large community bonfire will be held on the beach where First Nighters will be greeted with carolers and hot chocolate. The YMCA will offer events for parents and children from 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

The Bar Harbor Historical Society will present a series of films of the 1947 fire that devastated the town. At midnight, the many churches in town will ring in the New Year literally when they all chime their bells at once. For more information, call the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce at 288-5103.


The most Eastern community in the United States, which was the focus of so much media attention last year, will greet 2001 in a more low-key fashion.

The only observance this year will be a walk across the bridge, from midnight New Brunswick time to midnight local time.


The granddaddy of all Maine First Night festivals turns sweet 16 this year. The 2001 fete is billed “Faces and Places of Celebration” and events are scheduled downtown from Longfellow Square to City Hall.

The year’s program will include a special focus on blues music and feature some of the regions top performers. The third annual Independent Film Festival features the work of more than a dozen filmmakers, including high school students.

Folk singers Dave Mallett and Livingston Taylor will perform at Merrill Auditorium. The music of Cole Porter will be featured at the Portland Museum of Art. Other events will include a teen talent contest, a giant puppet parade, a display of ice sculptures and a 5K run.

A Portland radio station is searching for a “first” couple “to tie the knot” at Ice Sculpture Park in what Downeast Radio, 99.9-FM, is calling “The Wedding of the Century. Events begin at 1 p.m. and end with the fireworks display at midnight.

Admission buttons may be purchased in advance through Dec. 30 at all Shop ‘n Save stores. Buttons in advance are $6 for children 12 and under, $12 for teens and adults, and $10 for senior citizens. Buttons purchased on Dec. 31 will be $8, $15 and $12. For more information visit their Web site at www.mainearts.org.

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