Bonfires, ball drops and weddings: How Mainers rung in 2014

Posted Jan. 01, 2014, at 2:19 a.m.
Revelers watch fireworks on the sand in Old Orchard Beach Tuesday night as temperatures plunged into single digits. Community and business group OOB365 sponsored the New Year's Eve event.
Revelers watch fireworks on the sand in Old Orchard Beach Tuesday night as temperatures plunged into single digits. Community and business group OOB365 sponsored the New Year's Eve event.
Al Bernardo saxophone player with The Waiters, a  Portland-based band, plays in the middle of the dance floor at the Bangor Public Library during the BDN Maine New Year's Eve Gala on Tuesday.
Kevin Bennett
Al Bernardo saxophone player with The Waiters, a Portland-based band, plays in the middle of the dance floor at the Bangor Public Library during the BDN Maine New Year's Eve Gala on Tuesday. Buy Photo
A crowd starts to gather around a bonfire of Christmas trees in Old Orchard Beach Tuesday night. Community and business group OOB365 sponsored the event, which was free and included fireworks.
A crowd starts to gather around a bonfire of Christmas trees in Old Orchard Beach Tuesday night. Community and business group OOB365 sponsored the event, which was free and included fireworks.
Children and adults roast marshmallows around a small fire in Old Orchard Beach on New Year's Eve.
Children and adults roast marshmallows around a small fire in Old Orchard Beach on New Year's Eve.
Ella Spencer, 10, of Milford, N.H., fails on her third attempt to get a dolphin toy out of a game in the Palace Playland arcade in Old Orchard Beach Tuesday night. The arcade is usually closed in winter but was open for New Year's Eve as part of a community beach party.
Ella Spencer, 10, of Milford, N.H., fails on her third attempt to get a dolphin toy out of a game in the Palace Playland arcade in Old Orchard Beach Tuesday night. The arcade is usually closed in winter but was open for New Year's Eve as part of a community beach party.
Ella Spencer, 10, of Milford, N.H., celebrates on her fourth attempt to get a dolphin toy out of a game in the Palace Playland arcade in Old Orchard Beach Tuesday night. The arcade is usually closed in winter but was open for New Year's Eve as part of a community beach party that included fireworks.
Ella Spencer, 10, of Milford, N.H., celebrates on her fourth attempt to get a dolphin toy out of a game in the Palace Playland arcade in Old Orchard Beach Tuesday night. The arcade is usually closed in winter but was open for New Year's Eve as part of a community beach party that included fireworks.
Tom Jones tosses another Christmas tree on the bonfire at a New Year's Eve celebration in Old Orchard Beach Tuesday night. Community and business group OOB365 sponsored the event which was free and included fireworks.
Tom Jones tosses another Christmas tree on the bonfire at a New Year's Eve celebration in Old Orchard Beach Tuesday night. Community and business group OOB365 sponsored the event which was free and included fireworks.
Laeton Michaud, 3, rides the Palace Playland carousel with his father Tyler at Old Orchard Beach on Tuesday night. The classic ride is normally closed in winter but  was open for a New Year's Eve community party sponsored by OOB365, a group that promotes the resort town all year.
Laeton Michaud, 3, rides the Palace Playland carousel with his father Tyler at Old Orchard Beach on Tuesday night. The classic ride is normally closed in winter but was open for a New Year's Eve community party sponsored by OOB365, a group that promotes the resort town all year. Buy Photo
Tom Jones tosses another Christmas tree on the bonfire at a New Year's Eve celebration in Old Orchard Beach Tuesday night. Community and business group OOB365 sponsored the event which was free and included fireworks.
Tom Jones tosses another Christmas tree on the bonfire at a New Year's Eve celebration in Old Orchard Beach Tuesday night. Community and business group OOB365 sponsored the event which was free and included fireworks.
Adam Swenson applies a fake mustache as Courtney Smith holds a crown over her sister Ambrosia Bertenshaw's head while she poses with her new husband Ben Noyes. Ben described the wedding on Tuesday as a New Year's Eve party where two people will get married. The couple will reside in Hampden.
Kevin Bennett
Adam Swenson applies a fake mustache as Courtney Smith holds a crown over her sister Ambrosia Bertenshaw's head while she poses with her new husband Ben Noyes. Ben described the wedding on Tuesday as a New Year's Eve party where two people will get married. The couple will reside in Hampden. Buy Photo
A beach ball wrapped in christmas lights is throw off  a building in downtown Bangor on Tuesday night to mark the beginning of 2014.
Kevin Bennett
A beach ball wrapped in christmas lights is throw off a building in downtown Bangor on Tuesday night to mark the beginning of 2014. Buy Photo

OLD ORCHARD BEACH, Maine — New Year’s revelers dragged their Christmas trees down slick sidewalks toward the beach as the sun set on 2013 for the last time. A trail of spills littering the bricks and telltale marks in the sand led to a pile of evergreens, all of whom had done their holiday duty and were ready to ascend into the deepening blue sky as crackling embers.

Tom Jones, a volunteer with community and business group OOB365, inserted a flaming log into the tangle of branches. Flames leaped toward the new stars and steaming cheers escaped the mouths of those assembled. The temperature was somewhere near single digits. It was the last night of December. But the beach party was on.

In addition to the bonfire, OOB365 arranged for Palace Playland, normally shuttered in the winter, to open its arcade and carousel. Kettle corn, cotton candy and hot chocolate were provided by the organization’s volunteers who try and promote Old Orchard Beach as a year-round destination. The evening was topped off with fireworks at 7:30 p.m.

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