Downtown hosting waterman’s boat drop on New Year’s Eve
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.
The New Year’s Eve Boat Drop will feature a replica of a trotlining deadrise.