Nothing says the holidays quite like a 35-foot high pile of lobster traps. Well, if you're visiting Rockland, at least. The annual Lobster-trap Christmas tree has been lit once again at the Rockland Harbor Park for the ninth year in a row as part of Rockland Main Street's holiday festivities.by Chris Chase
Coastal Journal staff
ROCKLAND — Nothing says the holidays quite like a 35-foot high pile of lobster traps. Well, if you’re visiting Rockland, at least.
The annual lobster-trap Christmas tree has been lit once again at the Rockland Harbor Park for the ninth year in a row as part of Rockland Main Street’s holiday festivities.
The tree’s structure is constructed with 152 lobster traps built specifically for the tree, with each trap weighing in at 40 pounds. About 480 feet of garland, along with 125 lobster buoys and a massive string of lights, are all topped off by a five-foot fiberglass lobster clawing at the sky.
The tree is built entirely by volunteers over several days. The lobster buoys that hang from the tree like oversized ornaments were all donated by local lobsterman back when the tree was first built, and have been kept for that purpose ever since.
The official lighting ceremony took place on Nov. 23, and was attended by hundreds of Christmas revelers and children who got to witness the lights spark for the first time this season.
In addition to the tree-lighting ceremony, Santa Claus made an appearance via trolley, and received gift requests from children while he presided over the ceremonies from his throne of lobster traps.
The children weren’t the only ones hoping for gifts this year. The kickoff of the lobster trap tree coincides with the start of the annual lobster trap raffle. The raffle, the tickets for which are sold for $50 apiece, will win one lucky lobsterman 100 traps, to be taken from the tree itself after it’s disassembled in January.
Newly elected city councilor Frank Isganitis, who has been a part of the lobster trap tree since its inception, was present to witness part of his hard work lighting up once again. According to Isganitis, this year was a bit different for him, as the work was shared by a larger force of volunteers.
“It’s the old saying that it takes a village,” said Isganitis. “It takes everybody working a little, and it eases the burden for everyone.”
Historically, Isganitis says he is usually the one flipping the switch, but this time he yielded that honor to someone else.
“This was the first year,” said Isganitis. “I’ve usually been the one at the post flipping the switch.”
The tree is the result of combined efforts by Rockland Main Street and the Camden National Bank, who have historically sponsored the tree.
The tree will remain in its place of honor until after the holiday season is over, when it will be put to work catching lobsters – after it’s disassembled, of course.