Fish Tales

Sarah Graves shared this with us last December, and we wanted to post it again in case you missed it. The Eastport New Year’s Eve is growing every year, and sounds like a wonderful winter escape.

As we wind down to the end of the old year, Eastporters are busy readying for New Year’s Eve, which gets celebrated twice, here — once for the Canadian midnight (11 PM our time when it’s midnight Atlantic time)  and once for our own. The big public celebrations happen downtown in front of the Tides Institute building, where there’s a maple leaf drop for the O Canada countdown and a fish for the lead-in to Auld Lang Syne.

That’s right, I said a fish. It all started in 2005 when people thought a drop of something-or-other would be grand. But what? Eastport’s rich fishing history suggested that the proper creature to lead us into the new year might have gills. An artist created a big, colorful fish and a way to drop it from the Institute’s third floor. And a tradition was begun: this year, hundreds of people will gather in Bank Square, and the event will be broadcast live on Anderson Cooper’s New Year’s Eve special on CNN.

Of course, while enjoying all this frivolity people will need fuel to stay warm, so Bank Square Pizza and Deli will offer a special Mexican menu (authentic, delicious) and stay open until 2 AM. Dastardly Dick’s plans to keep the coffee perking, as well as the espressos and lattes. The Happy Crab’s having a party with a DJ and all the trimmings, the Liberty Cafe’s gyros and other great Greek delicacies will satisfy as usual, there’s a pig roast at the Rose Garden, and — yes! — after a long, sad hiatus, the Waco Diner is open again (the Wack is back!).

And there’s more — a spectacular musical program at the Tides Institute, a party at the Pickled Herring, galleries and shops open for browsing or buying — really, just show up in downtown Eastport this New Year’s Eve and you simply won’t be able to avoid having fun.

There is the next morning to consider…if you dare. But we’re ready for that, too, with a New Year’s Day lunch at the Episcopal Institute and the traditional kissing of the fish — guaranteed to bring luck in 2013. More coffee will be drunk, more pastries eaten, and no doubt a lot of football watched on “the day after.” Some of us will resort to the hangover remedies, also.

But when that leaf and fish come down, and they play the old songs, and a cheer rings out…well, the whole thing brings a sardine-scented tear to the eye. There aren’t many of us in Eastport, and much of the time, we’re pretty quiet. Now, though, we’re throwing a party and you’re invited, so here’s a link to all necessary info. (which will work equally well for 2013. Try it!)

Happy (almost) New Year!



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5 Responses to Fish Tales

  1. MCWriTers says:

    Sounds like so much fun, Sarah! And you say Eastport is quiet and deserted in the winter?


  2. Pj Schott says:

    Oh, yum!!

  3. I never knew that Easport celebrated two New Years’ Eves! And I love all the festivities you are having… We did it up big in Camden back in 2000, and then for a few years after that, but NOTHING like what you’ve got happening. Guess I’ve got to go further down east for the real downtown feel!

  4. Sounds like such fun. I love everything staying open. The Waco Cafe caught my eye. We have a Waco in Texas, but I’m thinking maybe you pronounce this with a short a like in ACK! We say it with a long a.
    At any rate, Happy New Year to “all y’all” on the Maine Crime Writers blog.

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