Down­town host­ing wa­ter­man’s boat drop on New Year’s Eve

Dorchester Star - - FRONT PAGE -

CAM­BRIDGE — New York City may its ball drop but for the first time ever, Cam­bridge has its own New Year’s Eve drop — fea­tur­ing a work­boat.

The New Year’s Eve Boat Drop will fea­ture a replica of a trot-lin­ing dead­rise — a tra­di­tional wa­ter­man’s work­boat — launched down 60 feet of track at mid­night on Dec. 31 in the 500-block of Po­plar Street. The street will be closed from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. for the cel­e­bra­tion in Cam­bridge. Most of the down­town restau­rants will be open late for the cel­e­bra­tion.

The boat is about 4-feet long and will be trav­el­ing at about 14 miles an hour when it hits bot­tom. As the boat is com­ing down, it will knock crabs off the line, which will be the “trot-lin­ing” as­pect. There is also a con­test to name the boat.

“We wanted some­thing dif­fer­ent and rel­e­vant for the East­ern Shore, and in par­tic­u­lar Dorch­ester County, and this is what we came up with,” said Brian Roche, chief tech­nol­ogy of­fi­cer at Bay Coun­try

Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, who brain­stormed the boat drop idea with Rob Kramer, a welder in Hur­lock, and Scott Shilling, owner of Bay Coun­try Com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

Roche said the idea is not only to en­cour­age peo­ple to come to down­town Cam­bridge and pa­tron­ize the lo­cal busi­nesses on New Year’s Eve, but also to bring the com­mu­nity to­gether to cel­e­brate.

Peo­ple are wel­come to watch as the 60 feet of track is con­structed right in front of the stu­dios of WHCP Ra­dio, which will be broad­cast­ing the event live. The 500-block of Po­plar is be­tween Gay and High Streets, near the Crab Bas­ket Christ­mas Tree, an­other dis­tinc­tively Dorch­ester hol­i­day project that has quickly be­come a lo­cal tra­di­tion in its three years.

Bay Coun­try Com­mu­ni­ca­tions is spon­sor­ing ev­ery­thing, and its tech­ni­cians painted the track, prac­ticed as­sem­bling and tested the drop in their ware­house. They’ll also be set­ting ev­ery­thing up on New Year’s Eve.

Rob Kramer Weld­ing in Hur­lock en­gi­neered and built the replica boat and the track. B&B Auto Body painted the boat. Kevin Hill of Hill Kim­mel Con­struc­tion is lend­ing his con­struc­tion lift to raise the boat into the air. Var­i­ous oth­ers — WHCP Ra­dio, Cam­bridge Main Street, Dorch­ester Tourism, down­town busi­nesses, the City of Cam­bridge and the Cam­bridge Po­lice De­part­ment — are all help­ing with logistics and promotion.

There’s also a boat-nam­ing con­test. Sub­mit ideas for the boat’s name to nye­boat­drop@ cam­bridge­main­street.com by mid­night on Dec. 30.

“It’s a big deal to name a boat,” Roche said. “Par­tic­u­larly here on the East­ern Shore, where your boat might be your liveli­hood.”

The win­ner, to be an­nounced around 11:30 p.m., will get $100 in Cam­bridge Main Street bucks to spend at par­tic­i­pat­ing down­town mer­chants. Win­ner must be present to win.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

The New Year’s Eve Boat Drop will fea­ture a replica of a trotlin­ing dead­rise.

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