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January 1st, 2010
01:29 AM ET

Cold place, warm hearts, cool Sardine!

John Dance
Senior Producer, CNN On-Air Promotion

2010 could not have started in a better way than with the people, and one very large sardine, of Eastport, Maine.

I joined 150 residents and tourists in downtown Eastport to ring in the New Year with the dropping of a Maple leaf at 11 p.m. and the dropping of a sardine at midnight.

They were both lowered from the third story window of the Tides Art Institute and Museum which puts on the event. The maple leaf is for the town's Canadian neighbors and the sardine represents the history of fishing and canning in Eastport.

Smiles and the sounds of "Oh Canada" and "Auld Lang Syne" filled the night air as families and neighbors filled the streets. This southerner was met with open arms and open hearts by the folks of Eastport.

For anyone looking for a unique experience to ring in 2011, put Eastport, Maine and The Great Sardine and Maple Leaf Drop at the top of your list.

To read more about the tradition, go here...


Filed under: New Year's Eve 2010
December 31st, 2009
10:15 PM ET
December 31st, 2009
09:54 PM ET
December 31st, 2009
09:37 PM ET
December 31st, 2009
09:13 PM ET

A New Year's resolution from the center of the world

Jim Spellman
CNN All-Platform Journalist

This is my first time spending New Years Eve in Time Square and it is really exciting. I've spent the last few watching Anderson and Kathy on CNN from the warmth and comfort of my living room. I guess I am just not a crowds guy.

But here in the thick of it all I'm having a great time. For a few hours round midnight every year this is the center of the world. Everyone is in a great mood, despite the crowds and the weather (and the lack of bathrooms).

There is a real sense that people are in this together. For one night a community of revelers ringing in the new year.

I don't know if it's this fun every year. It's certainly been a tough year winding up a tough decade. Terrorism, wars, economic woes.

A decade ago we were worrying about Y2K. Would our ATM's still work on New Years Day? It seems so minor compared to the concerns that occupy us these days.

So maybe we all need to spend some more time together instead of avoiding the crowds. Maybe I'll make that my New Year's resolution.


Filed under: Jim Spellman • New Year's Eve 2010
December 31st, 2009
09:11 PM ET
December 31st, 2009
09:07 PM ET

Braving the weather in Times Square


Poppy Harlow dodges the rain under an umbrella with Andre Jenkins.


Anderson Cooper braves the light rain as he gets ready for the big show.

Jim Spellman
CNN All-Platform Journalist

The weather has been a big issue here at Times Square all day. When I woke up this morning I peered out of my hotel window and saw a light coating of snow. Not so bad, kinda pretty.

Then I stepped out into it. Yuck. Bitter cold "wintery mix."

But then a great thing happened. The snow and rain stopped and it even warmed up a bit. We thought we might get off easy, but just after 8 p.m., as they ring in the new year out in the middle of Atlantic Ocean somewhere, the rain began.

Freezing rain. Ice cold freezing rain.

It's slowed to a quiet drizzle now. For the thousands of people waiting for the ball the drop let's hope it stops altogether.


Filed under: Jim Spellman • New Year's Eve 2010
December 31st, 2009
09:03 PM ET
December 31st, 2009
09:00 PM ET
December 31st, 2009
08:58 PM ET

Ringing in the New Year - with a Sardine drop?

John Dance
Senior Producer, CNN On-Air Promotion

For the fifth consecutive year, the “Great Sardine and Maple Leaf Drop” will ring in the new year in Eastport, Maine.

The “Great Sardine and Maple Leaf Drop” began as a small New Year’s Eve event, but has evolved into a celebration attracting locals and tourists alike to the sleepy New England town.

In homage to both the U.S. and Canada, two drops take place, a maple leaf at 11 p.m. ET (Midnight Atlantic) and a sardine at midnight ET.

The Tides Institute & Museum of Art in downtown Eastport is host to the event each year, lowering the leaf and fish from its third-story window. The building is the former Eastport Savings Bank, built in 1887.

FULL POST


Filed under: New Year's Eve 2010
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