Lobster Pot Christmas Tree better than ever

Tue, 11/23/2021 - 4:15pm

Saturday was the “picture perfect” day to build this year’s Lobster Pot Christmas Tree...cool, sunny, and most importantly, no wind, so the tree went up faster than
usual. Lots of folks of all ages came by to play “sidewalk superintendent,” take photos, and make donations. Can you believe this is the Lobster Pot Christmas Tree’s
eleventh season and it is the best ever?
A huge thank you goes to Turtle (Harold Hatfield), organizer of this beloved project. If you were downtown during the past couple of days, I am sure you saw him stacking lobster pots in preparation for constructing the tree. Turtle and his wife, Heather, have spent the past week organizing this event, testing lights, and gathering the materials needed. Saturday morning many more workers than normal showed up, excited to help since Covid-19 restrictions last year prevented them from working at this fun event.
If you drove by while construction of the tree was underway, you could not miss seeing the “Donation Jar” in the middle of the road, but did you realize it was the top of the tree turned upside down? The donations were generous (about $500), thanks everyone, and the money collected will be used for maintenance of Esta’s Park and special school projects of the Block Island School Friends.
Putting in hours of construction time were: Jordan, Kate, Cora and Kiley Ryan; Patrick, Kate, Barrett, and Elizabeth Evans; Alisa, John and Justin Barry; Jamie and
Fisher Johnston; Heather, Turtle, Blaize and Chase Hatfield; Charlie Weber; and the windfarm boat guys, Ethen Fontaine and Don Murphy. The crew needed “fuel”
to keep on running lobster pots and Lars Trodson and the Odd Fellows Café took on the job of providing snacks for the crew. Thanks, everyone, you did a great job!
There were a lot of behind-the-scene helpers. A big thank you goes to Jon Grant for the loan of 241 lobster pots plus one fish pot, the number it took to build this year’s tree, and to Freddie Howarth and Jon Grant for providing the buoys. Also, a huge thank you goes to Robbie Gilpin and the North Light Interpretative Center
for providing the blinking light for the top of the tree. Many thanks to the Block Island Tourism Council for providing lots of new lights this year and to the B.I. Gardeners for making and hanging the wreaths throughout the downtown area.
By popular demand, the lights will be turned on at dusk on Thanksgiving Day so families here for the holiday can enjoy it before leaving on Friday. The Old Harbor Task Force invites you and your friends and family to come down, enjoy the park, and take a few photos of everyone standing in front of the Lobster Pot Christmas Tree.
One request from Turtle and his crew: no climbing on the Lobster Pot Christmas Tree as the privately-owned lobster pots are not strong enough to hold your weight and you can easily break the tree lights (without meaning to) and that will shut down a whole section of lights.
And, something new this year ... for those of you lucky enough to be here on Saturday, November 27, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., Santa will be greeting visitors and residents in front of the Lobster Pot Christmas Tree in Esta’s Park. I can see everyone reaching for their camera as they read this. A big thank you to Mutt Hut for sponsoring
this event.
On behalf of the Old Harbor Task Force, it is always a pleasure to thank the BI community for its continued support of the park ... and the Lobster Pot Tree.