BANGOR, Maine — Ten years ago, a Bangor attorney came up with a bright idea — namely to conduct a Big Apple-style ball drop from the top of his building at 26 Main St., in the heart of downtown.
Lee Kraemer Hanscom, a 31-year-old Brewer resident, was among those who turned up to see 2014 off and welcome 2015.
“I’m waiting to meet some people for dinner,” Hanscom said while standing outside of Paddy Murphy’s
“I’m waiting for the place to clear out. It’s a little busier than I thought it would be at this time of night,” he said. “I’m just waiting to see what happens over there at the stage and hopefully get some food.”
Afterward, he planned to head over to West Market Square for the ball drop.
Autumn Allen, director of visitor services at the Maine Discovery Museum, said she was pleased with this year’s attendance.
“We had a huge turnout actually today. From noon on, we’ve had different events. We’ve had noisemakers, we had a parade, we had hatmaking, facepainting sessions,” Allen said. “We had snacks and refreshments on the second floor in the snack room and our extended hours, of course.
“Our numbers are up significantly from last year. By a lot,” she said. She attributed the rise to the promotional work done by the Downtown Bangor Partnership.
“They got out the word that we’re open in the nice schedule that they made. That’s huge. We’ve really been on a push to let people know that we’re still here. We’re open for them so I think it’s starting to pay off for us a little bit,” she said. “It’s quite a fun time.”
This year’s New Years’ Eve lineup included an artist in residence.
Teddi-Jann Covell of Orono hosted an art show and sale featuring some of her paintings of Maine’s natural beauty.
Although there wasn’t a countdown to midnight, this year’s ball drop went off without a hitch.
The highpoint of the night drew thousands to West Market Square. So many people turned out — many of them spilling out from nearby restaurants and bars — that the crow overflowed into Main Street.
A Bangor Police Department dispatcher said afterwards that despite the number of people downtown, there were no major problems.