New Year's Eve is happening in Eastport, Maine! The city and surrounding area will celebrate the New Year with the 4th Annual Sardine and Maple Leaf Drop from the Tides Institute and Museum of Art
(TIMA) building located at the heart of the downtown's new public space, Bank Square.
"We have an 8-foot scale model of the Atlantic Herring that will be lowered from the third story window," said Hugh French, Tides Institute director, "This doesn't happen everyday." This years Sardine and Maple Leaf will be decked out in coppery digs to celebrate the ongoing restoration of the Tides Institutes new cooper roof.
The sardine, technically known as the Atlantic Herring, is a symbol for the easternmost city in the United States, where canneries were once a booming industry. In addition to shipping and aquaculture, Eastport is now known as an arts community with galleries and an historic downtown. The Sardine Drop is a new New Years Eve tradition.
The origins of the drop go back a few years when there was a suggestion for some kind of community celebration at the end of the year. The current fish, created by sculptor, Bill Schaefer, of East Machias, has a bent wood frame and is stretched with canvas. To offer a more authentic rendition, he painted the sardine in a 'contemporary realism' style to look like it was caught fresh from the Atlantic. Schaefer, who donated his time to make both the maple leaf and fish, says this was one of the more interesting projects hes worked on. David Yates of Yates Sawmill in Lubec generously donated the cedar for the frame.
The 'Sardine' will be lowered at midnight Eastern Time with the 'Maple Leaf' to be lowered an hour earlier at 11:00 pm Eastern, or midnight Atlantic Time. Eastport is poised just west of the Atlantic time zone with the Canadian islands of Deer Island and Campobello located just off shore in Passamaqoddy Bay. Music for the evenings festivities will feature a fanfare for the descents of both the Maple Leaf and Sardineadding a momentous flourish to the occasion. Last year, a crowd of more than 300 revelers came to celebrate twice(spontaneously singing O Canada during the Maple Leafs descent)making it that much more fun!
To add to the celebration, a number of dining establishments including the newly opened Pickled Herring, the WaCo Diner, Happy Crab and Rose Garden Cafe are offering food and refreshment specials. Several downtown businesses including The Commons and Eastport Gallery will be open until midnight and beyond. Accommodations include the Todd House, Weston House, Kilby House Inn and Motel East.
The Tides Institute and Museum of Art
(TIMA) is an 1887 National Register of Historic Places anchor property located in the former Eastport Savings Bank in downtown Eastport. Open year round, TIMA serves as a cultural catalyst as well as exhibition space, curating three to four new exhibitions each year, in addition to presenting works from its permanent collections, which focus on the international Passamaquoddy region and the broader U.S./Canada northeast coast.
For more info on the Sardine and Maple Leaf Drop, including contact info on participating establishments and accommodations visit the Tides Institute and Museum of Art web site at: http://www.tidesinstitute.org or call (207) 853-4047 or email: email@example.com.