So I came across this Down East magazine article because I follow them on Twitter, and I was absolutely compelled to share the basic content of it here. (you can find me / follow me on Twitter as well, Eliza @mainerootsgirl).
If you take a moment and reflect on major cities’ New Year’s Eve celebrations, the dropping of the glittering ball in New York likely comes to mind, and perhaps the immense fireworks display in Sydney, Australia, or many others. But the little town of Eastport, Maine, drops two objects on New Year’s Eve – no small feat for a town of 1,331.
They first drop a red maple leaf, in honor of their New Brunswick neighbors, at 12 am Atlantic Standard Time, and then an enormous sardine one hour later, at 12 am Eastern Standard Time. Sculptor Bill Schaefer created both the maple leaf and the sardine – the maple leaf is five feet wide and made of plywood – and the sardine is eight feet long, painted canvas on a wooden frame.
This unique celebration, which is classically, creatively Maine, has been featured in other news outlets in past years as well. For the full story and information, please do check out the Down East article – Kiss the Fish (which the revelers line up to do after the sardine is lowered – for good luck in the coming year!).
Eastport, Maine was once home to thirteen sardine canneries, and possesses the deepest port on the East Coast. Natural phenomenons seem abundant here: the powerful tides and currents of the bay actually create reversing falls. Near Pembroke, the rapids that course over Cobscook’s rocky bottom actually reverse direction with the tide. In addition, passengers on the ferry between Eastport and Deer Island will catch sight of Old Sow, believed to be the largest whirlpool in the Western Hemisphere.