BETHEL – The Bethel Historical Society will again sponsor its annual New Year’s Bethel, a family-oriented, chemical-free event on Sunday, Dec. 31, in Bethel Hill Village.

The ninth annual celebration performers will include George Saterial, magician; the Maine Kanteles, 10 women from western and central Maine playing kanteles, a traditional Finnish lap-harp; the State Street Traditional Jazz Band; Maine humorist Henry Bascomb, aka Chaitanya York; Spring Creek, a four-member group with a selection of bluegrass music; and Ti-Acadie, a three-member band who will call and accompany an evening of contra dancing.

Venues will include Gould Academy’s Bingham Auditorium and Bingham Gym, plus the West Parish Congregational Church and the Nazarene Church.

There will be marshmallow roasting on the town common and hospitality and refreshments at the Dr. Moses Mason House meeting room until just before midnight, when visitors will be encouraged to bring their bells (sleigh, horse, school,) to officially ring 2007 in at the town clock on Main Street.

Sponsors are again being sought to support the event. Categories for individuals range from Patron ($200 or more) to Backer ($100) or Contributor (under $100). Business sponsorship is also available ($250 or more). “Gifts in Kind” are also welcome.

Anyone wishing to become a sponsor can call the society at 824-2908 or 1-800-824-2910) or send it to P.O. Box 12, Bethel, ME 04217-0012. For more information, e-mail [email protected] or visit

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