Lobster trap Christmas tree to honor Milford’s coastal history

MILFORD — To honor the history of Milford, the Downtown Business Association and The Milford Arts Council are teaming up to create a lobster trap Christmas tree that will be fashioned with artistic buoy’s created by people.

“There are a lot of lobster trap trees in a lot of coastal (areas) throughout a lot of the quintessential New England towns,” said Makayla Silva, DMBA executive president. “I thought Milford being perfectly situated along the harbor, it would easily lend itself to the same sort of tree.”

Silva said The MAC was the perfect organization to partner up with to make the idea a reality.

“The idea was that members of the community, businesses and artists can all purchase a buoy and paint it or decorate it and then they will be hung on a lobster trap tree. Likely it will be 15 or 20 feet tall and it will be at the very end of High Street just past the Historical Society,” she said.

“It’s going to be a surprise for us what people decide to do with the buoys,” said Paige Miglio, executive director of The MAC. “A lot of our exhibits have themes, so to be able to have people of all ages do something that is either holiday-related, seaside-related and decorative gets us excited to see what we get.”

There is going to be a team of people who will put up the lobster trap tree, and Silva said the lobster traps were donated by Briarpatch Shellfish Company, which is a local oystering company.

“Because there is no longer lobstering in Milford, they no longer use the lobster traps, and they said they would lend it to us, which is pretty cool,” said Silva.

The lobster trap Christmas tree with the buoys will be on display from Dec. 12 through the new year and then after, people can claim them or donate them to The MAC, which will auction them off and the proceeds will benefit The MAC.

“It’s an amazing opportunity to partner on a project like this for the community,” said Miglio. “The Milford Arts Council in 2022 will be celebrating 50 years of having been certified as a 501(c)(3) in 1972 so to have this as our kick-off to our anniversary to our 50th year, it’s just an amazing fortuitous opportunity that just couldn’t be missed.”

“We are hoping some people will be very generous and donate their buoy’s back to The MAC for auctioning in January,” Miglio added. “We will be using those funds to help celebrate our 50th anniversary in the fall of 2022.”

In total, 200 bouys were purchased by the Milford community to be placed on the lobster trap Christmas tree.

“We figured buying 80 we would be in great shape and we were sold out within two weeks of sales, so we put through another order of 80, and sold almost half of that, within 24 hours and then we put another order of 40,” said Miglio.

“We are looking forward to running the two back-to-back events on Dec. 11 with the build, so people will be able to register for that event, and people will be able to watch a couple of local fishermen build this amazing tree out of 125 lobster traps,” she said.

“It’s been so well received by the community,” said Silva. “People are so excited about it.”

On Dec. 11, the lobster trap Christmas tree will be set up from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and on Dec. 12, there will be a lighting of the tree event starting at 4 p.m.