May 23, 2018
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Bangor girl marks special birthday: 11-11-11

Kevin Bennett | BDN
Kevin Bennett | BDN
Maddie Brookings of Bangor blows out candles on a cupcake her mother made as a test for her upcoming birthday party. Brookings turns 11 years old on Nov. 11, 2011. She has been planning her celebration for several years including a private party of 11 of her closes friends.
By Dawn Gagnon, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — Madeline Brookings knows exactly how she wants to celebrate her 11th birthday this year. After all, she’s been planning it for years.

The festivities began on Thursday, when she brought pumpkin chocolate chip whoopie pies to Mary Snow School to share with her classmates.

The action then moved to the Courtyard by Marriott hotel in Bangor, where she and her parents, Robert and Denise, hosted a birthday party for 11 guests.

The reason for all the hubbub is this: Maddie is turning 11 on Nov. 11, 2011 — or 11-11-11 — and is among a huge number of people around the globe who believe there is something magical about the date and the combination of numbers.

The birthday party, the highlight of which arguably was a sleepover at the hotel, featured many of Maddie’s favorites — including swimming, games and a viewing of the Disney movie “Prom” as well as pizza from Papa Gambino’s and her mom’s coconut cream pie.

Denise Brookings said she and her husband also had a few surprises up their sleeves for Thursday and Friday.

“We’re going to have a treasure hunt with 11 clues, and on Friday morning we’re going to The Maine Jump,” she said. She expects a visit to the Bangor bounce-house venue will be a hit with the girls, several of whom are friends from the Penobscot School of Gymnastics.

Handstands, back flips and other gymnastics moves are some of of the petite fifth-grader’s favorite things to do.

“It’s a fun way to spend my time because I almost am never on my feet — I’m always upside down,” she said with a laugh during an interview this week at her home on Fox Hollow Lane.

Maddie’s big brother, Robby, and older sister, Emily, who both attend Bangor High School, were expected to stop by the Marriott to peek in on the bash, her mother said.

After all that, Maddie and her parents will head back to the house for a birthday party with family members. About 35 of them are expected, Denise Brookings said.

“For the family party, we could almost do 111,” she said.

Even a quick Internet search on the significance of Nov. 11, 2011, turns up hundreds of thousands of hits.

Some plan to make special wishes on that day or have chosen it as their wedding day or the launch date for a new book or CD or other product.

Verizon Wireless will launch its new Droid Razr at 11:11 a.m.

Even KFC — famous for its fried chicken recipe featuring a secret blend of 11 herbs and spices — has climbed on the 11-11-11 bandwagon. Through a special promotion for its Twitter followers, the chain will give away a year’s supply of chicken for 11 consecutive hours to 11 of its followers.

Whether the date is in fact lucky is anyone’s guess. Either way, 11-11-11 will be a day that Maddy is sure to remember.

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