BARRINGTON, N.S. – ‘Tis the season for the Municipality of Barrington’s Lobster Pot Christmas Tree, which will be lit for the season on Thursday, Nov. 22 at 7 p.m. on the North East Point waterfront on Cape Sable Island. (NOTE: Due to weather the tree lighting and fireworks were postponed to Sunday, Nov. 25 at 7 p.m).
A community tradition since 2009, for the past four years buoys in memory of those lost at sea, fishermen who have passed on and in recognition of those that are fishing on the water have been added as part of the tradition.
“The tree tells a story now,” says Suzy Atwood tourism and community development coordinator for the municipality.
“It was a great initiative to take something we do as part of our livelihood and build a Christmas tree, but now when people come to look at the buoys, they read the names and reflect on those who have been lost at sea or passed on,” she says.
Atwood says the community response to the initiative has been “unbelievable.”
“Every year we get more added to the tree. People will come and put their own buoy on after we put it up,” she says, estimating more than 150 buoys were on last year’s tree.
“For some families it’s hard to put that buoy on the tree, but for others its very comforting to come and see that,” Atwood says, adding people have messaged her saying how much it means to them.
At least 200 lobster traps are used to build the lobster pot tree.
“They are all recycled traps, so they’re traps that have been seen the bottom of the ocean and caught there share of lobsters. We get them from the C&D Landfill. We pick out the best ones, the safest and the sturdiest.”
This year the lobster pot Christmas tree is going to be even more colourful.
“It used to be all green lobster traps but this year you’re going to find a variety of colours in the tree because more and more fishermen are moving away from the green lobster traps and using yellow, pink and white and every other colour,” Atwood says. “I think it will make the tree a little bit brighter. Its all part of who we are.”
It takes the property services team several days to build the tree, which can be watched on the Nova Scotia webcam.
The lobster pot tree lighting, which is followed by fireworks, is the start of the Municipality’s annual Christmas at the Causeway (formerly Festival of Lights) celebration.