Mainers ready to bring in ‘09

Posted Dec. 31, 2008, at 10:37 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Champagne sales are down and caterers say party planners are looking for less-expensive options as Mainers get ready to bring in 2009 with a slightly muted bang.

The recession apparently has New Year’s revelers watching their wallets more closely.

In Portland, some local restaurants and bars say they’re taking New Year’s reservations at a good pace or are booked up. But there also appears to be a shift from fine champagne and hotel overnight packages to less pricey meals or drinks and appetizers.

The weather forecast calls for a cold start to the new year. Wind will pick up Wednesday, with highs in the mid-teens to mid-20s. Snow’s expected Wednesday, with the heavier accumulations of 3 to 5 inches in the southern end of Maine.

Lows overnight will be between zero and 10 degrees, with wind chills approaching 30 below zero in some areas.

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