Lobster Buoy Christmas Tree in Kittery Point, Maine, Is A Picture Perfect Remembrance of a Much Loved Fisherman
You and I see them all the time in New England; Christmas trees in sailboats floating beautifully for that idyllic coastline holiday spirit, or trees made from lobster traps or buoys. Kittery Point, Maine is literally on point with its first lobster buoy tree going up this month, however, there's more to it than just a colorful Instagram photo along our seacoast waters. This vibrant buoy tree has quite a storied beginning.
According to Sheila Chapman the entire point of this tree is to celebrate the life and love, while remembering a much-beloved lobster fisherman, David Baxter, who passed away earlier this year. Chapman told me that the original organizer, Kelly Philbrook, first reached out on Facebook to create this grassroots honor, and to no one's surprise, Kittery answered.
Adorned with around 300 decorated buoys, Chapman said that this colorful work of art is thanks to donated buoys from local lobster fishermen paying tribute to Baxter, as well as donations from the community, all to buy buoys.
As a matter of fact, Chapman says the buoy gracing the top of the tree is in honor of Baxter. She said it's his actual, personal buoy with his fishing license number on top. She says the tree is around 8 feet tall and is lovingly sitting behind Frisbee's Wharf on Pepperrell Cove.
This tribute tree took on another role, after the fact, and that's using donations for the Wreaths Across America's Kittery chapter that Chapman says she's so proudly and humbly in charge of. Community members that donated or purchased buoys for the tree decorated them, turning this tree into magical whimsy and personality to reflect it's meaning while raising money to buy wreaths for veterans graves in the area.
Each uniquely decorated buoy comes with love and excitement; from Santa
to the Grinch,
to Frosty, a local girl scout troop,
and even a lobster sunbathing buoy
The variety of art and decoration ranges from families to businesses, blinged-out buoys to a child's vision and a pet's paw print.
I truly had to see it for myself and enjoyed snapping the photos in between onlookers gazing in wonder, looking for their buoy, and snapping photos while admiring the various artistry.
By the way, the wreaths purchased with donations now adorn graves of veterans in three Kittery Point cemeteries, as well as those interred in Orchard Grove.
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