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Eastport New Year's Eve Sardine & Maple Leaf Drop

Town: Eastport
Region: DownEast & Acadia
Activities: Walking, sightseeing, New Year’s activities

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).

WaCo Diner

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.

The Happy Crab

Pub favorites like poutine and pizza complement a variety of seafood options.

Old Sow Grill

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.

Explore Downtown

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

Businesses & Organizations

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  • Maine's favorite Zoo and Amusement park featuring Maine's only White Bengal Tiger, Zebras, lots of...

    Phone: (207) 363-4911, 800-456-4911


    Address: 23 Railroad Ave./US Route 1 PO Box 1139 , York Beach

    Animal Parks and Zoos
  • The Wreaths Across America Mobile Education Exhibit is on the road in 2021 and will be making a stop in Caribou, ME during the July 29 "Thursdays on Sweden Street" event! Visit us in Downtown Caribou!

    Phone: 2074935319


    Address: 55 Bennett Drive , Caribou

  • Our 120 acre family homestead has been turned into three 18 hole courses. They are all a combination...

    Phone: (207) 229-9825


    Address: Woodland Valley Disc Golf, Inc.106 Burnham Rd. , Limerick

    Restaurant on Site Internet Access Mini Golf and Disc Golf
  • This family amusement offers indoor and outdoor attractions. There are two 18-hole mini golf courses...

    Phone: (207) 646-9655


    Address: 270 Post Road (US Route One) , Moody

    Go Karts and Arcades Mini Golf and Disc Golf
  • A beautiful monument to Maine's Veterans, the Veterans Count Heroes Wall is a place for reflection and giving thanks to all who have served our great country. With two great locations- this monument is one to top your list when visiting Maine.

    Phone: 207-828-0754


    History and Maritime Maine's Heritage
  • Chamber Music Concert Series featuring music for winds and strings. " ...beautifully articulated, shapely playing and rock-solid ensemble" - Allan Kozinn, Portland Press Herald

    Phone: (207) 286-6688


    Address: PO Box 95 , Kennebunk

    Fairs and Festivals Performing Arts

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