Downtown Countdown to include all-ages fun

Posted Dec. 28, 2010, at 9 p.m.

BANGOR — The RetroRockerz? Check. An organ recital? Sure. Games and activities for youngsters? Check. Improvisation with the Focus Group? You got it. A teen dance and a contradance? Yes to both. The ball drop at midnight? Of course.

Downtown Countdown 2011 will take place 4 p.m.-midnight Friday, Dec. 31. The theme is “The Rhythm of Life — Better Than Ever!”

Entering its fifth year, the event has evolved significantly. This year it will features 13 venues with 25 activities and entertainment options.

The philosophy of the Downtown Countdown is to offer a variety of free entertainment options to appeal to community members of all ages.

The event will incorporate several new entertainment options.

For the first time, the event will feature opening and closing ceremonies in West Market Square, including outdoor musical performances and an improved countdown to midnight.

Also new this year are a teen dance, improvisation by The Focus Group and s’more-making over an open fire.

An information booth will be set up in West Market Square, where attendees can pick up schedules, learn about The BAT shuttle, ask questions and get directions to venues.

Complete event brochures with maps featuring venues and BAT shuttle information are available for pick-up at several downtown businesses. The brochure also can be downloaded from www.downtownbangor.com.

Downtown Countdown 2011 schedule:

  • 4-7 p.m. Free admission at Maine Discovery Museum, Main Street. They will offer Hats and Noisemaker Creation 4-5 p.m. and the Count-Up Parade 5-6 p.m.
  • 5:30-7:30 p.m. Spaghetti dinner at Unitarian Universalist Church, 120 Park St. $8 adults, $5 children, $20 family.
  • 6 p.m. Hollywood Slots welcomes reality stars Jeff and Jordan from “Big Brother” and “The Amazing Race” to sign autographs and pose for photos all evening.
  • 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Motor Booty Affair performs at Hollywood Slots.
  • 7-10 p.m. Bangor Public Library will offer games, magic, dance and karaoke.
  • 7-9 p.m. University of Maine Museum of Art at 40 Harlow St. hosts “All Decked Out.” Make your own crown or tiara.
  • 7:30-8 p.m. Downtown Countdown Kick-Off with MC Steve Robbins and Queen City performing in West Market Square.
  • 8:30-10:30 p.m. S’more making in West Market Square. $3 each.
  • 8-9:30 p.m. Maximum Blue performing in City Hall Council Chambers, third floor, Harlow Street.
  • 8-10 p.m. Organ recital and reception at St. John’s Episcopal Church, French Street.
  • 8-11:30 p.m. Preservation Blues Band at Bagel Central.
  • 8-11:30 p.m. Contra Dance at Unitarian Universalist Church, instruction at 7:30 p.m.
  • 8-8:35 p.m. and 9:40-10:15 p.m. The Focus Group, improvisation at Bangor Opera House, 131 Main St.
  • 8-11:30 p.m. RetroRockerz at the Union Street Brick Church, 126 Union St.
  • 8-10 p.m. VIP Reception for button wearers only at Sweetest Thing. $5 a button.
  • 8:45-9:30 p.m. and 10:25-11:10 p.m. Evergreen at the Bangor Opera House, 131 Main St.
  • 9 p.m. Teen Dance, age 18 and under, at Hammond Street Congregational Church. $3.
  • 11:30 p.m. Closing Ceremonies with Queen City in West Market Square.
  • 11:59 p.m. Countdown to Midnight and ball drop by Mike & Mike from KISS 94.5 FM.

This year’s event features a VIP button available for purchase for $5. VIPs will be entered to win prizes including dinner and a stay at Hollywood Slots Hotel, two tickets to a 2011 Waterfront Concert, gift certificates to downtown businesses and Penobscot Theatre tickets.

VIPs will have an exclusive reception at Sweetest Thing Studio catered by Market Bistro. Additionally, VIPs will receive discounts at participating downtown businesses throughout January. Buttons are available for purchase at Giacomo’s, 1 Central St.

Volunteers are still needed for this event. Staff will work with volunteers to place them at a venue that interests them.

Volunteer a few hours and be entertained at the same time. Volunteers will be stationed at one of the venue sites for shifts between 6 p.m. and 1 a.m.

Tasks include greeting attendees, sharing information about the overall event, giving directions, making performance announcements, crowd management and safety as well as entertainer support.

View volunteer descriptions at www.downtownbangor.com. To sign up, contact Mackie Faye Hill, Downtown Countdown event planner, at 631-2035 or email Mackie@eventsbymackie.com.

This event would not be possible without the support of sponsors.

Presenting sponsor is Husson University.

Venue sponsors are Bangor Metro, Bangor International Airport, City of Bangor, Hollywood Slots Hotel and Raceway, Sutherland Weston Marketing Communication and WKIT.

Transportation sponsor is Beal College.

Sponsor for the Midnight Ball Drop is Smith Law Offices.

Supporting sponsors are Bangor Lettershop, The BAT, Darling’s, J Group Advertising, Market Bistro, People’s United Bank, River City Therapy & Wellness Center, Rudman & Winchell, Time Warner Cable, WBRC Architects-Engineers and WLBZ2.

Media sponsors are the Bangor Daily News and The Maine Edge.

The Downtown Bangor Partnership promotes and markets activities that enhance the distinctive identity of downtown Bangor. This is intended to encourage retention and growth of commercial, residential and cultural life within the downtown district. For more information on the Downtown Bangor Partnership, visit www.downtownbangor.com.

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