December 26, 2013

Things to do on New Year’s Eve

Galas, dancing, hikes, bonfires and polar dips to ring in 2014.

By Shannon Bryan
Staff Writer

We have lots of ideas for you, from gala soirees to beach bonfires and much more.

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Additional Photos Below

There’s a lot of pressure on Dec. 31. While Dec. 30 has the luxury of being an average day and Jan. 1 is often downright lazy, the expectations for New Year’s Eve are always lofty. We want the night to be special, memorable and absolutely awesome. It’s enough to make any other day feel overwhelmed, but this isn’t Dec. 31’s first trip to the New Year’s Eve rodeo, so it’s ready. From galas and dancing to hikes, bonfires and polar dips, this New Year’s Eve has something just for you. (All of the events listed take place Dec. 31 unless otherwise noted.) 


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 the Flagstaff Hut on the sandy east shore of Flagstaff Lake in Kingfield. Relax by the fireplace and enjoy a festive four-course meal of locally sourced ingredients and a champagne toast. And then enjoy the nature.

Flagstaff Hut, Kingfield; $109/bed for adults, $64/bed for youth;


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 race around Back Cove before participants sprint into the water at East End Beach. And depending on how your New Year’s Eve festivities go, you might want to take another cleansing dip on New Year’s Day in Old Orchard Beach during the annual Lobster Dip, which benefits Special Olympics Maine.

NRCM’s Polar Bear Dip and Dash

11 a.m. (5K), noon (dip); $35; Back Cove and East End Beach, Portland;

Lobster Dip

Noon Jan. 1; raise a minimum of $100; beach in front of The Brunswick, Old Orchard Beach;


Maybe it’s the beach bonfire, maybe it’s a ride on the carousel, or maybe you just want to welcome 2014 while eating kettle corn and drinking hot cocoa near the arcade. Whatever the reason, Last Blast 2013 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.

Starting at 4:30 p.m.; Town Square and on the beach, Old Orchard Beach;


Celebrate all classy-like, and help feed Maine kids while you’re at it. This charity gala at Boone’s helps raise funds for Share our Strength, which provides Maine children with healthy food. It also includes a five-course meal and the chance to dance the night away to big-band-style music from The Fogcutters.

5:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.; $50 general admission, $135 includes dinner, $500 includes preferred seating, VIP service and a bottle of bubbles;


Finally, an appropriate place to wear all your glittery attire! The Midnight Glitter event encourages attendees to wear something that glitters or glows. There will be dancing to the Bob Charest Band, late-night snacks and a champagne toast. $85 ticket includes hors d’oeuvres and buffet dinner.

6:30 p.m.; $49 or $85; Portland Marriott at Sable Oaks, South Portland;


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 dinner, dancing and music from the Jim Ciampi Band during New Year’s Eve on the Square.

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Additional Photos

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Hundreds participated in the Lobster Dip in Old Orchard Beach on Jan. 1, 2012.

2012 Press Herald file photo/Shawn Patrick Ouellette

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Maine comedian Bob Marley will host his annual holiday show at Merrill Auditorium on New Year's Eve.

Press Herald file photo/Gabe Souza


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