New Year’s Bethel draws more than 400

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BETHEL – More than 400 celebrants of all ages attended the ninth annual New Year’s Bethel on Dec. 31 in Bethel Hill Village.

Festivities began with more than 100 participating in the annual dragon parade around the Bethel Common, organized by Gary Inman, followed by the marshmallow roasting on the Common.

Performance sites included the West Parish Congregational Church, Bethel Church of the Nazarene, Gould Academy’s Bingham Hall and Bingham Gym, plus the Dr. Moses Mason House Meeting Room for hospitality and refreshments. Horse-and-wagon rides were available throughout the evening.

Performances included Henry Bascomb (a.k.a. Chaitanya York), Maine humorist; magician George Saterial; the Maine Kanteles; Spring Creek (bluegrass music); State Street Traditional Jazz Band; and Ti Acadie (contra dancing).

The evening culminated with a reception at the Dr. Mason House. Everyone rang bells following the count-down to welcome 2007 at the town clock opposite the Civil War monument on Main Street.

The event is sponsored by the Bethel Historical Society with the assistance of the Mahoosuc Arts Council, Gould Academy, the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce, the Bethel Church of the Nazarene and the West Parish Congregational Church.

Volunteers were coordinated by Jan Stowell. They included Lorrie and Dick Hoeh, Marvin and Tineke Ouwinga, Dexter Stowell, Sharon Lyon, Marjane and Dave Shiverick, Marlene and Larry Engdahl, Jackie Van Leuven, Sylvia and Norm Clanton, Lynn and Joe Arizzi, Carol and Walt Hatch, Priscella and Dean Walker, Lucia and Eric Scwarz.

Assisting with hospitality at the Dr. Moses Mason House were Hal Mahon, Sylvia Vander Sluis and Amy Davis. Providing food were Bessie Bennett, Amy Davis, Russ and Paula Howard and Stan Howe. More than 75 sponsors made the event possible.

The Bethel Historical Society 2006 annual fund campaign passed the $27,500 level from more than 435 donors last week. Those wishing to make a tax deductible gift at any time throughout the year should send it to the society at P.O. Box 12, Bethel, ME 04217-0012.

More information about the society and its activities may be obtained by calling 824-2908 or 1-800-824-2910, e-mailing info@bethelhistorical.org or visiting www.bethelhistorical.org.

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