Lobster Pot Tree sparkles once again

Wed, 11/27/2019 - 7:30pm

Last Saturday, Nov. 23, dawned sunny and cold with just a little wind… a perfect day to construct this year’s Lobster Pot Christmas Tree. It is the ninth season Harold “Turtle” Hatfield and crew have been building this beloved tree and it is better than ever. Turtle does not believe in doing the same thing twice, so each year it is fun to see how he changes it.  This year he used two types of fish pots instead of one. For those people who ask me each year, “How many lobster pots did he use?” The answer, this year, is 187 lobster pots.

As we have done the last few years, we made the tree building a festive family event as well as a fun fundraiser. Congratulations to the kids (and parents) from the Block Island School who sold coffee, hot chocolate, and baked goods and who raised more than $350. Half of the money raised goes to the Block Island School’s Roots and Wings program, which sponsors the annual sixth grade trip to New York City. The other half goes into the maintenance fund for Esta’s Park, the home of the Lobster Pot Christmas Tree. A big thank you to those community members who donated baked goods and/or who stopped by and bought goodies and made donations.

This was an all-day project: In the morning, Turtle and his crew built the tree and, in the afternoon, they added the lights, the buoys, and the blinking light at the top of the tree. There were many faithful helpers, both repeat and new, showing up to work: Jordan and Kate Ryan, Patrick Evans, Clair and Scott Comings, Daren and Kelly Vest, John and Alisa Berry, and Susan and Keith Stover. In addition, there were lots of “sidewalk superintendents” admiring the tree and taking photos.

Meanwhile, at the bake table there were many kids working: Blaze and Chase Hatfield, Cora and Kiley Ryan, Max Walsh, Bailey Payne, Carina and Justin Berry, Barrett Evans, Gweneth Coviello, Ellie and Stevie Vest, and Katie Howe. Again, thanks to everyone who donated the delicious food they had to sell. Oh, and when the kids weren’t working the bake table, they were helping carry lobster pots and decorating the tree.

I also want to thank the behind the scene helpers. A big thank you goes to Fred Howarth for supplying the buoys. Another large thank you goes to Jon Grant for the loan of all the lobster pots. Also, a huge thank you goes to Robbie Gilpin for once again providing the blinking light for the top of the tree. Thanks go to the Block Island Gardeners for making the wreaths for the whole downtown area and the Block Island Tourism Council for providing the new tree lights. Last, but not least, thanks to two of our businesses for their support: Islandscape donated the zip ties and Bethany’s Airport Diner supplied the coffee and coffee cups.

The lights will be turned on at dusk on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, so families here for the holiday can enjoy the tree before they leave. The Old Harbor Task Force invites you and your friends and family to come down and take a few photos of everyone standing in front of the Lobster Pot Christmas Tree.

I love thanking the Block Island community for its continued support of the Lobster Pot Christmas Tree, our downtown parks, and our school. Thank You!

Margie Comings is the Chair of the Old Harbor Task Force.