Where It’s At ... to ring in the New Year

Posted:  Wednesday, December 27, 2017 - 8:00am

Scottish poet Robert Burns penned “Auld Lang Syne” way back in 1788 …

“Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my jo, For auld lang syne, We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet, For auld lang syne ...”

Whether you choose to welcome the new year with old or new friends, with or without good cheer/cup o’ kindness, be thankful for 2017’s blessings and tell everyone you love how much you love them.

With Christmas behind us and 2018 ahead of us we need to decide how to spend New Year’s Eve. Some prefer to spend it quietly at home – with or without friends; at the movies, a restaurant, or out on a dance floor. Others, like my parents, decide to marry on New Year’s Eve!

When you wake on the morning of Dec. 31 with a powerful hunger for breakfast (but not to say “I do,”) there are still some great places in town just waiting for you. Mama D’s on Union Street in Boothbay Harbor is open for breakfast. Be advised that Lorie, a.k.a. Mama D who makes yummy everything, is closing at noon.

Over in East Boothbay, the Carriage House on Route 96/Ocean Point Road is open for Sunday brunch hours, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. only. Begin the day’s toasting (but don’t get toasted – yet anyway), with a bottle of champagne, a bloody Mary or bloody Maria …

Reservations are recommended for the New Year’s Eve doings over at The Thistle Inn on Oak Street: a four-course Prix Fixe menu, $50 per person or $90 per person if you’d like to add wine pairings. The cocktail party, from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. includes a happy hour from 10 to 11 p.m.

Pier 1 Pizza will be serving a variety of their tasty pies ... and holiday Jello shots and such.

Meanwhile over at the Boathouse Bistro, a full menu and New Year’s specials await as well as live music by Dave and Chris Gagne from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. The complimentary champagne toast at midnight will make for a tasty, intimate, low-key celebration.

If it’s dinner and dancing that make you merry, McSeagull’s on Pier 1 is where it’s at for you. After the dinner hour, the Hallowell-based soul-funk-jazz band Boogie Mob takes center stage beginning at 9 p.m. Complimentary champagne toast here too.

If you prefer to party your way to the New Year, local cab companies Bo Bo's Coastal Cabs, 207-380-4182; and Richard's Riverside, 207-350-6639 will be ready to drive you safely home. For details, see the article in this week’s edition of the Boothbay Register.

For those, like myself, who prefer to welcome the New Year quietly, there are some options like taking in a movie. “Wonder” is playing at the Harbor Theater at 7 p.m. That’s the one with Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson as the parents of a young boy who’s just a little different than the rest of the kids. At the Lincoln Theater over Damariscotta way, it’s all aboard for “Murder on the Orient Express” with an all-star cast led by the brilliant (and dishy) Kenneth Branagh who also directs. I saw it over at the Harbor Theater a week or so ago and loved it.

Staying in with Netflix, Hulu, or one of the Brit TV/movie “channels”? How about some take-out (perhaps Chinese? - what a night for a fortune cookie, no?) and a bottle (or two) of bubbly, or whatever you prefer? Buy some noise makers and ring in the New Year at the stroke of midnight alone or with friends, in your best ensemble or jammies.

Looking for things to do with the kiddos? During the daylight hours? How about a family hike at one of the Boothbay Region Land Trust’s preserves or a walk around Ocean Point? If you missed the awesome Polar Express, Boothbay Railway Village is offering a New Year’s train ride Saturday, Dec. 30! Boarding begins with the train departing Freeport Station at 1 p.m. See the charming large model train and Christmas village display in the 1847 Boothbay Town Hall - and a cup of yummy hot chocolate. Don’t miss the Harrington House where it’s all decorated a la 1940s Christmas style. Other departure times are 1:30, 2, 2:30 and 3 p.m. - others may be added if needed to satisfy demand!  Call 633-4727 or visit www.railwayvillage.org.

Have you seen the Gardens Aglow yet? If not, ride on over to Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens - last days are Thursday, Dec. 28 through Dec. 31.

If you feel like a drive to Freeport,  L.L. Bean’s New Year’s festivities will begin at 11 a.m. culminating with a fireworks display at 6 p.m.  Crafts, live entertainment – including Rick Charette and the Bubblegum Band make this a great last family activity of 2017.  

However you choose to celebrate the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018, do so with those you love. Raise your glass in remembrance of those who have passed on, both human and animal; recount your blessings, and above all, remember to say those three little words to those nearest and dearest ...

Here’s to 2017, its joys and sorrows: "May your troubles be less, and your blessings be more, and nothing but happiness come through your door." — old Irish toast