Vinalhaven news

By Claire Carter | Dec 05, 2013
Photo by: Claire Carter Vinalhaven has its very own trap tree this year, built from lobster traps and pot buoys borrowed from local fishermen.

The holiday season has officially hit the island, so if you’re a bigger fan of Scrooge than Santa, keep reading to get more into the spirit.

Although tasers and pepper spray weren’t necessary, a small horde of shoppers made for a successful Black Friday on Nov. 29. Later in the day another impressive crowd gathered at the Bandstand for the annual town Christmas Tree Lighting.

The Open Bible Baptist Church choir sang traditional carols, and teachers Jill Oakes and Samantha Thompson led students from Vinalhaven School with more songs. The crowd favorite was “The 12 Days of Christmas,” where the kids acted out the gifts in each verse, from 12 drummers drumming to a partridge in a pear tree.

During the ceremony, the Fox Islands Electric Cooperative crew was recognized for all the work they do during each holiday season, including placing the American flags for veterans on the telephone poles, hanging pennants along Main Street for the Fourth of July, and stringing Christmas lights and decorations around town each year. The honor of throwing the switch was given to Lyford Bunker and Hope Cluff, young family members of some of FIEC’s staff.

The crowd experienced a Griswold family moment, however, when only the bottom half of the tree lit up after the countdown. It was thought that due to the recent stormy weather that the tree may have hit some surrounding power lines, which burnt up some of the lights. FIEC was in the process of fixing the problem as of press time.

More lights, wreaths and large lawn inflatables have surfaced as part of islanders’ personal holiday displays, and WEGAS plans to award the community members with the most spirit. The group will give $50 prizes to decorators in five different categories: the Griswold award, Traditional/Home for the Holidays, and Judges’ Choice (chosen by WEGAS members), as well as Kids’ Choice and People’s Choice, which the community will vote on.

Ballots will be available in stores downtown to vote for People’s Choice, while students will be sent home with notes from school on how to vote for their favorite Kids’ Choice display. Winners will be announced later this month after the polls close and WEGAS goes on their annual Christmas light joy ride to review everyone’s efforts.

WEGAS will soon be decking the halls in a new fundraising effort. Colored paper Christmas light bulbs signed with names and personal holiday messages will be sold for donations and displayed in stores around town. Another new Christmas addition downtown is the lobster-trap tree. Dubbed “The Lida Romer Beacon of Hope,” the tree was planned by WEGAS member Faye Grant, who gathered fishermen to donate their traps for the month and help construct the tower. The tree is decorated with pot buoys and can be seen shining brightly in the Fish Plant parking lot.

In non-Christmas-related news, a new system for the ferry terminal parking lot in Rockland will be instituted on Dec. 17. Customers that park by the day will now collect a ticket at the gate and pay the fee before they exit instead of paying inside the terminal. Those with annual parking passes will have to replace their permit with a $10 access card by Dec. 9 to enter and exit the gated lot.

Looking for entertainment tonight? Vinalhaven Middle and High School students are performing “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” this evening, Dec. 5, at 7 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. The musical comedy, based on Charles Schulz’s “Peanuts” comic strip characters, was also presented last night and this morning in a special showing during school.

The Jerrold Michael Community Enrichment Foundation recently awarded $6,000 worth of scholarships to Vinalhaven students furthering their education. Five college students each received $1,000 awards, as well as one high school student fundraising for a travel abroad trip. Recipients were chosen based on financial need and community service.

The foundation was created in 1997 and provides financial assistance for educational, recreational, health and environmental-related pursuits. Generous donors provide most of the funds, but money is also raised through the Jerry Michael Scholarship Roast and the annual Mill Race Duck Race. In addition to helping Vinalhaven high school graduates, JMCEF has also supported sports teams on the island by helping fund new uniform purchases and summer tournaments, as well as EMT training and playground improvements.

If you have any news to include in this column, please contact Claire at clairecartervh@gmail.com.

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Kim Lincoln
Copy Editor
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Kim Lincoln has worked for Courier Publications since 2003, serving as a reporter, assistant editor and copy editor.

During her time with the company she has worked for each of the three newspapers, The Courier-Gazette, The Camden Herald and The Republican Journal.

When she is not in the newsroom, Kim likes to be outside, whether it be gardening, swimming, hiking or just enjoying the sunshine.

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