Tomorrow night at 6 pm, my neighboring city of Rockland (known as the Lobster Capital of the World) will light up a special kind of Christmas tree.
It is constructed from approximately 152 wire lobster traps, supplied by Brooks Trap Mill in Thomaston, Maine. It is 30-feet tall and is topped with a five-foot fiberglass lobster known as "Rocky" and lit from the inside with 24 green 75W halogen lights that provide so much light that it can be seen clearly from Vinalhaven Island, eight miles across Penobscot Bay.
If you happen to be in Midcoast Maine prior to the holidays, don't miss it. It's kind of like our version of the World's Largest Ball of Twine.
Though some may beg to differ this isn't the best lobster trap tree in the world, I still say Rockland's is magnificent. Gloucester, MA started the trap tree tradition first in 1998; Rockland followed five years later. And last year, Beals, Maine claimed they were the best the best with their 50-foot tree.
What's your vote? And be nice.
The point is, the trap tree draws attention to the hard-working folks in our lobster industry and raises money for a good cause. Each year raffle tickets are sold for $50 each for a chance to win all the traps used to build the tree. Every year, a lobsterman wins the traps and uses them for the following season.
Go Rockland! See ya at the tree lighting.
Columns about the sub-culture of lobstering that K. Stephens has collaborated on with Maine lobstermen and guest bloggers.