Like the rest of the world, Maine businesses are navigating the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage you to check websites for your destinations before visiting for the latest health and safety guidelines in place, and please remember to be patient and kind while visiting.
Eastport New Year's Eve Sardine & Maple Leaf Drop
If you are craving a unique New Year’s event that differs from the usual ball drop, consider heading to Eastport, where you’ll encounter the drop of not one, but two celebratory curiosities adorned with lights — an eight-foot sardine (not to worry, this particular sardine has no fishy smell) and a giant maple leaf. This is Eastport’s annual New Year’s Eve Sardine & Maple Leaf Drop, held by the Tides Institute and Museum of Art.
Today, this beloved, quirky tradition draws many to the outside of the Tides Institute in downtown Eastport to sing in the New Year alongside a cheerful brass band playing “Auld Lang Syne.” The night starts with a nod to our Canadian neighbors at 11 p.m. (midnight Atlantic Canada time) with the drop of the illuminated maple leaf and a round of “O Canada.” Then, at 12 a.m., the iconic blue sardine, also known as the Atlantic herring and symbol of Eastport, is dropped to ring in the U.S. New Year.
New Year’s Eve Eats
Before braving the cold, warm up at one of these local favorites (for the most up-to-date schedules, we recommend giving businesses a call or checking their websites).
Self-proclaimed as the “oldest diner in Maine,” this spot is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. Burgers, chowders, seafood plates and more are sure to satisfy the whole crowd.
Pub favorites like poutine and pizza complement a variety of seafood options.
This pub boasts a variety of margarita flavors perfect for celebrations, in addition to beer and wine as well as tavern fare. Live music is also a regular treat.
Eastport’s Water Street is a great place to walk and peruse local shops along the picturesque harborside setting. The Commons Eastport is home to the Artisan Shop and Seaside Gallery, where you can find a variety of Maine-made products and art. Keep an eye out for a mermaid who will be relaxing by the sea, no matter the weather — made by sculptor Richard Klyver.
From Ellsworth: 99 miles
From Bangor: 115 miles
From Augusta: 193 miles
From Lewiston/Auburn: 224 miles
From Portland: 246 miles