2016-12-28 / Front Page

Splash into the New Year

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Staff Writer

OLD ORCHARD BEACH — New Years Day weekend, you can watch lights explode in the sky or take a dip in the icy Atlantic.

On New Year’s Eve, local community group OOB365 is hosting the 9th annual Last Blast, a beach party held near the town square.  A bonfire on the beach will be lit around 5 p.m., and residents are invited to bring down their Christmas trees to help feed the fire. There will be hot chocolate, kettle corn and other refreshments available; marshmallow toasting pits and music with DJ Joeyoke.

A fireworks display begins at 7 p.m. and OOB365 President Sharri MacDonald said organizers expect to see, as in years past, a couple of thousand of people at the event.

“Our event is free for all to enjoy and the added plus is that it brings business to the beach in the off season,” said MacDonald. “After our event, our event goers can go to the many restaurants and nightlife venues to help people kick off 2017 with fun and frolic.”

MacDonald said the event also “provides a spark” to motels that stay open all year round, and she’s been getting a lot of inquiries from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York and Quebec for places to stay.

For more information on OOB365 and Last Blast, check out OOB365 on Facebook.

On Sunday, folks can dive into the New Year with the 29th annual Lobster Dip, scheduled at noon sharp.

The Lobster Dip, a fundraiser for Special Olympics Maine, is an annual dip into the ocean behind The Brunswick, 39 West Grand Ave.

“This year with a high tide it should be a really quick in and out,” said Special Olympics Maine Spokeswoman Lisa Bird.

Bird said registration does not begin until Thursday, so there’s no way of telling how many people will be there -- but- fingers crossed -- organizers are hoping for a turnout of more than 300 participants.

“I have a really good feeling this year,” said Bird, who shared that there’s been a good buzz on social media.

“The weather for the day looks awesome,” she said.

Lobster Dip participants must raise a minimum of $100, and can register individually or as part of a team of up to five people. A post dip party will be held at The Brunswick with a free buffet, music and cash bar. \

For more information on the Lobster Dip, go to www.somaine.org.

Bird said the Lobster Dip is one of the top three fundraisers for Special Olympics Maine, and officials hope to raise about $100,000.

Money raised goes toward athletes in Maine. She noted the organization only has five paid staff in the state, and will have provided programs this year for at least 4,300 athletes.

— Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 325 or egotthelf@journaltribune.com.

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