Jodee Thurlow and Jeff Brannen of Lewiston enjoy the music of Farmhouse Project on Dec. 31, 2019, during the second annual New Year’s Auburn. After a year off because of the pandemic, the city plans to continue it’s new tradition this year. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal file

AUBURN — The city will once again ring in the new year with fireworks and live music after a year lost to the pandemic.

In a news release this week, city officials marked the return of what is now considered Auburn’s signature event, aimed at showcasing the downtown area as an event space and nightlife destination.

Asked about the announcement Friday, Director of Communications Liz Allen said, “We are just so excited about this year’s bands and how this event is shaping up so far and we couldn’t wait to shout about it.”

Well-known Maine cover bands Hello Newman and Motor Booty Affair will headline, with the celebration also featuring food trucks, craft beer and fireworks at 10 p.m.

The city is calling it the third annual New Year’s Auburn. After a successful inaugural event in 2018, it continued in 2019. Last year’s edition, which would have been the third annual, was canceled.

New Year’s Auburn will take place on Main Street, where a full-sized stage will be placed in the middle of the street.

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Officials are calling it “Maine’s biggest and best free outdoor New Year’s celebration.”

“When it comes to holidays, New Year’s Eve blows the rest out of the water,” Mayor Jason Levesque said. “No other party has the excitement, hope and anticipation that the last night of every year has to offer. After not being able to host this event last year, the excitement behind this year will prove that Auburn will continue to be the biggest New Year’s Eve party in the great state of Maine.”

Allen said there’s no way to prove that it will be the biggest, since it’s not a ticketed event and it’s outside. She said other large municipalities in Maine have yet to announce New Year’s plans. But, she said, the first two editions have shown that it attracts “thousands.”

“We also wanted to spread the word now to help give folks something fun (and free) to look forward to as they are planning out their holiday season,” she said.

According to the news release, “thousands are expected” to celebrate New Year’s in Auburn this year, with food trucks from across Maine on-site, and local beer served by Gritty’s, Side by Each Brewing Co., Lost Valley Brewing, Mason’s Brewing Co. and Craft Brew Underground.

The nearby Hilton Garden Inn Auburn Riverwatch is offering a special “Shake Your Booty” discounted rate for attendees, the release said.

More details can be found at newyearsauburn.com.


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