Gaslight League steering committee member Misty Coolidge of New Gloucester loves the glam of ringing in the New Year at Victoria Mansion, but also enjoys a dance party and didn’t want to miss the live coverage of Times Square.

She was among the organizers of the Gaslight League’s Dec. 31 New Year’s Gala who brought in a DJ and a flat-screen television and invited guests to tour the seldom-seen third floor of the mansion, where a former billiards room, bachelor bedroom, trunk room and cistern room are now used for storage and research.

The Gaslight League is the young and young-at-heart donor society at Victoria Mansion, a National Historic Landmark on Danforth Street in Portland. Named after the house’s remarkable original 19th-century lighting fixtures, the league is a creative group of history buffs with a penchant for parties supporting historic renovation.

“This year, the Gaslight League is on track to raise more money than ever for the mansion – $8,000 and counting,” said Development Director Audrey Wolfe.

“The group sold me because it describes itself as people who enjoy good cocktails and historic buildings,” said Gaslight League member Rebecca Peters-Campbell of Scarborough.

Seventy guests mingled over hors d’oeuvres by Blue Elephant Catering and decade-themed cocktails marking the 1860s, when the mansion was built, through the 1940s, when it became a museum, and, of course, the 2020s.

It was the second year the Gaslight League’s New Year’s Gala was open to the public and the first time the crowd was half visitors.

“I Googled fun things to do in New England for New Year’s,” said Bill Sodeman of Worcester, Mass.

Revelers filled the first minutes of a new decade with midnight kisses, a champagne toast and an energetic group sing of “Auld Lang Syne,” with lyrics provided. In one final sweet touch, everyone went home with a party favor: gold-colored prosecco-flavored chocolate balls or sugar-coated prosecco-flavored gummies.

“This is fantastic,” said Lara Marshall of Portland. “It’s everything I wanted.”

Amy Paradysz is a freelance writer and photographer based in Scarborough. She can be reached at [email protected].


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