Boat drop re­turns to Cam­bridge

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

CAM­BRIDGE — New York City has its ball drop. Eas­ton has its crab drop. And now, in its sec­ond year, 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 more than 60 feet of track at mid­night on Dec. 31. The street will be closed from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. for the cel­e­bra­tion in the 500 block of Po­plar Street.

The boat, named in a com­pe­ti­tion in 2016 the Groove City Lady, is about 4 feet long and will be trav­el­ing at about 14 mph when it hits bot­tom. As it is com­ing down, it will knock crabs off the line, which will be the “trot-lin­ing” as­pect. The boat trav­els on 80 feet of track, 20 feet longer than last year, which will take 10 sec­onds or less.

“We wanted some­thing dif fer­ent and rel­e­vant for the Eastern Shore, and in par­tic­u­lar Dorch­ester County, and this is what we came up with,” said Cam­bridge na­tive Brian Roche, who came up with the idea with Rob Kramer, a welder in Hur­lock, and Scott Schilling, owner of Bay Coun­try Com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

The idea be­hind the boat drop, Roche said, is not only to en­cour­age peo­ple to come to down­town Cam­bridge and pa­tron­ize the lo­cal busi­nesses on New Year’s Eve — most of the restau­rants will be open late — but also to bring the com­mu­nity to­gether to cel­e­brate.

The 500 block of Po­plar Street will be closed start­ing at 10 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. Peo­ple are wel­come to watch as the 60 feet of track is con­structed. The 500 block of Po­plar is be­tween Gay and High streets, near the Crab Bas­ket Christ­mas Tree, an­other dis­tinc­tively Dorch­ester hol­i­day project that has be­come a lo­cal tra­di­tion in its three years.

The boat drop project has been a la­bor of love. Bay Countr y Com­mu­ni­ca­tions is spon­sor­ing ev­ery­thing, and its techs painted the track and prac­ticed as­sem­bling and test­ing the drop in their ware­house.

They also will 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. And var­i­ous oth­ers — WHCP Ra­dio, Cam­bridge Main Street, Dorch­ester Tourism, Mid Shore Graph­ics, down­town busi­nesses, the City of Cam­bridge and the Cam­bridge Po­lice De­part­ment — are help­ing with lo­gis­tics and pro­mo­tion.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

Vis­i­tors pack the 500 block of Po­plar Street in Cam­bridge last year on New Year’s Eve for the in­au­gu­ral New Year’s Eve Boat Drop.

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