Belfast Rings In New Year With "By The Bay"

BELFAST, Maine (WABI) - Folks in Belfast rang in the New Year with an annual celebration.

Alyssa Thurlow takes us to Belfast By the Bay.

Belfast is the place to be on New Year's Eve.

And on Sunday, the countdown to the new year kicked off early with the sounds of area bands.

It's all part of the city's By the Bay celebration.

"It takes place in 9 different venues," explained Mary Mortier, Executive Director of By The Bay. "We have over 145 performers and over 25 different types of performances."

Including one, by Miners Creek, a performance geared towards area seniors.

"We have very wonderful and appreciative audiences and the performers who come and perform here want to come back year after year because they have a good time, a great time, performing on New Year's Eve here," said Mortier.

Mary Mortier, Executive Director of By the Bay says that the cold snap shouldn't keep people away.

"The venues are in walking distance, so even in this cold, all you need to do is put on your thermals and you're good," said Mortier.

And for those looking for a more unique way to spend their New Year's Eve, look no further than the Belfast Curling Club.

"It's an old game that originated in Scotland and played an awful lot in other countries including Canada and the U.S," explained Gordon Russell, member of the Belfast Curling Club.

"I guess it's been compared to either bowling on ice or maybe shuffleboard or something like that," said Russell.

Organizers say the event brings in folks from near and far, and it's a family-friendly way to welcome 2018.

And it's all thanks to Jennifer Hill. A woman looking to expose her children to more cultural performances.

"She really put her foot to the ground and put together a great team that first year that put a fabulous foundation for the event and it's held us in good steed for 21 years," explained Mortier.

And as the clock strikes midnight, folks will be gathered at the waterfront for a uniquely-Belfast tradition, the annual bonfire on the beach.

"The fire can go on until 3 a.m. It's really how long people can stick around," said Mortier.