2016-12-30 / Ticket

New Years Eve in the Midcoast

Celebrations in Bath and Freeport focus on fun for kids and families
BY BEN GOODRIDGE
Times Record Staff


GORDIE FOYE AND SAM CASHMAN, both of Freeport, hang out inside Discovery Forest during the tree lighting in November. 
BEN GOODRIDGE / THE TIMES RECORD GORDIE FOYE AND SAM CASHMAN, both of Freeport, hang out inside Discovery Forest during the tree lighting in November. BEN GOODRIDGE / THE TIMES RECORD BATH and FREEPORT

The Midcoast will have plenty to see and do to ring in 2017.

L.L. Bean has been celebrating the holidays since they lit up more than 700 fir trees on Nov. 19. The Discovery Forest will be aglow until Jan. 1, and the folks at L.L. Bean have special plans for New Years Eve — the forest’s final night in operation.

The fun kicks off at 11 a.m. in the Camping Atrium at the Flagship Store store with Double or Nothing, a magic show that combines juggling and comedy. KB Whirly, a one-man band, will play at noon, and L.L. Bear, the company mascot, will be available for pictures and hugs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

At 3:45 p.m., the Camping Atrium will transform into an arts and crafts center where kids can make wearable art and and noisemakers. Youngsters can show off their dance moves when Rick Charette and the Bubblegum Band take the stage at 5:15 p.m. in Discovery Park, adjacent to Discovery Forest. The show will culminate with fireworks at 6 p.m., a topping off a celebration geared to children.


FOLKS FREQUENT L.L. BEAN’S DISCOVERY FOREST — which is adjacent to their Freeport store and will be the site for their New Years Eve Celebration — at all hours of the day. 
BEN GOODRIDGE / TIMES RECORD STAFF FOLKS FREQUENT L.L. BEAN’S DISCOVERY FOREST — which is adjacent to their Freeport store and will be the site for their New Years Eve Celebration — at all hours of the day. BEN GOODRIDGE / TIMES RECORD STAFF “This event is really about the kids,” said Laurie Gilman, events coordinator at L.L. Bean. “I wouldn’t be surprised if some people are out by Discovery Forest at midnight, but its always been about the earlier crowd. We love to keep the kids engaged.”

Visit llbean.com for more information.

In Bath

Maine’s First Ship will host a kid-friendly celebration at their Bath location on 31 Commercial Street from 6-10 p.m. Entry to the celebration is $20, and includes live music from Tom Whitehead, plenty of floor space for dancing, hot hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, bottled water and soda for the kids and an outdoor bonfire beside the Virginia, a replica of the first ship built in Maine in 1608.


FOLKS DANCE AWAY THE EVENING at Maine's First Ship’s New Years Eve Celebration in 2015 in Bath. 
PHOTO COURTESY OF MARSHA CONOVER FOLKS DANCE AWAY THE EVENING at Maine's First Ship’s New Years Eve Celebration in 2015 in Bath. PHOTO COURTESY OF MARSHA CONOVER “The boat will be decorated with Christmas lights,” said Orman Hines, president of Maine’s First Ship.

Maine’s First Ship has been hosting their New Years Celebration for four years now, and Hines sees it as an activity for folks dining downtown with their families and want to do something fun either before or afterward.

“You can stay for a little while or you can stay the whole time,” said Hines. “It’s a great way to come see the boat.”

Hines said the event is “more or less for fun and celebrating as opposed to raising money,” but said that in past years they’ve raised enough for building upkeep.

Hines said they usually see between 50-100 people at the celebration.

“We’ve done a silent auction in past years, and may do one this year if people are interested,” Hines said. “But we always have fun dancing.”

There will be a champagne toast at 10 p.m., and then folks can get the kids home and to bed, and either watch the ball drop or turn in themselves.

“It’s always been more about the kids for me,” said Hines. “We love to keep them involved.”

Visit mfship.org for more information.

bgoodridge@timesrecord.com

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