50 ways to leave 2009

By JEFF INGLIS  |  December 30, 2009

South of town, the LANDING AT PINE POINT will have a world-cuisine party (Thai, French, and Caribbean tastes are on offer) with music from owner Jim Ciampi's band and — the main reason to stop by — a heated cigar tent! Starting at 8, apps, dinner, dessert, and champagne at midnight are all included in the $75 charge (or pay an extra $25 for a VIP private-dining experience). 353 Pine Point Rd, Scarborough | 207.774.4527

MAINESTREET cuts loose with a White-Out Party, at which all guests (preferably wearing black-and-white outfits) will get white LED lights upon entry, and every so often the house lights will go out! DJ Ken will spin, with free copies of his "Hits of the Decade" disc to early arrivals. And everyone gets a champagne toast. Doors are at 8 pm. 195 Main St, Ogunquit | $10 | 207.646.5101


Down the coast

If you're closer to Portsmouth, head down to First Night Portsmouth, where for $20 you can get into all kinds of venues and misadventures. There's a STREET DANCE running from 5 pm to midnight, with a Market Square countdown. Among the highlights are FIREWORKS at 7:30 pm at the South Mill Pond; WEST AFRICAN DRUMMING at the Connie Bean Center; DANCERS performing parts of The Nutcracker at the Great Bay Academy of Dance; the GENERIC THEATER'S READING of Thornton Wilder's one-act The Long Christmas Dinner at the Players' Ring; a BEATLES TRIBUTE BAND at Temple Israel; CHRISTMAS 1910, a Pontine Theatre performance based on South Berwick woman's memoir of a childhood Christmas in Portsmouth; and a THEATRICAL CELEBRATION OF THE NEW YEAR at the West End Studio Theatre. $20 includes all events | proportsmouth.org

Into the distance

For the multiculturalists, visit our neighbors to the north (and east!). Celebrate with Canadians by taking a ROAD TRIP TO EASTPORT for their cross-border party. Just make sure you don't get there late — local restaurants, shops, and galleries are open during the day and early evening. And even if you miss dinner in town, make sure you get there before 11. The locals drop both a large maple leaf and a sardine (in locally flavored tributes to the ball in Times Square), but the maple leaf goes at 11 pm for us here in Eastern Time, in deference to the Canucks, who are one hour ahead, on Atlantic Time. With a soundtrack provided by a brass quartet, the event is sure to freeze and please. tidesinstitute.org | 207.853.4047

Perhaps that's bit far. If you'd rather walk to your party than drive, head up to Carrabassett Valley and meander into the hills, to VISIT THE POPLAR STREAM FALLS HUT, run by Maine Huts and Trails. Beer and wine will be available on New Year's Eve, and with groomed trails for skiing and snowshoeing, home-cooked meals, and staff to wash your dishes, it's hard to imagine a Mainer New Year. $93 per person, dinner + breakfast included |mainehuts.org | 877.634.8824

Take the long view

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