BELFAST, Maine — A lobster in Belfast one-upped a groundhog in Pennsylvania Monday morning by predicting six more weeks of summer.
Passy Pete, short for Passagassawakeag Pete, was plucked from a trap in the Passagassawakeag River during a 10 a.m. ceremony Monday on the Belfast waterfront. Ten Belfast Barons lead the lobster to shore, where he “directed” them to a scroll that proclaimed summer would last for another six weeks, according to David Crabiel, one of the organizers.
The Barons are a group of 10 business leaders and city officials dressed in tuxes and top hats.
“We don’t know how Passy makes the prediction,” Crabiel said. “It’s all a mystery.”
The extended summer will mean more tourists, Belfast’s Chamber of Commerce hopes.
About two weeks ago, Crabiel, who owns Chocolate Drop Candy Shop in town, was speaking with several other downtown business owners and lamenting the fact that summer was winding down, and with it the tourist traffic.
The idea for Passy Pete emerged from those talks and the Chamber of Commerce latched onto it.
The group timed the first event well, as it was held on a 90-degree September day.
Passy was released back into the water after the making his prediction.
Crabiel enlisted the help of his 14-year-old son, also named David, to promote Monday’s event in a video, which can watched on YouTube.
This is the first time Belfast has held this event, but officials hope to make it an annual tradition.
Follow Nick McCrea on Twitter at @nmccrea213.