According to a ‘clairvoyant’ lobster named Passy Pete, it’s time to pack away your shorts and sundresses.
Each year since 2015, residents of Belfast, Maine, have plucked the lobster from the bay and gathered around to watch him choose between two scrolls. One predicts six more weeks of summer, while the other forecasts an early winter.
For the first three years of the tradition, Passy Pete foretold six more weeks of summer. Last year and this year, WABI reports, Mainers haven’t been so lucky.
“Friends of Belfast, on this second day of September—Labor Day in the year 2019,” Belfast baron Dave Crabiel read from the scroll Pete picked, “it’s in your best interest to collect your coats, tell your sister to return the ones you lent her, tell Cathy, the harbormaster, to remove the boats, and everyone get ready for winter.” At that, an audible wave of groaning arose from spectators.
“All four years up to this point he’s been accurate,” Crabiel told WABI. “So I don’t know—we’ll see. It’s not the result we wanted.”
Crabiel and fellow business owners came up with the idea for a forecasting crustacean as a way to sustain summer tourism levels past the season’s peak. “While Belfast is a great community year-round, we certainly do see an increase in business in the summer with the tourists,” he explained to WABI. “So we thought, what if there was an anti-groundhog, somebody who could predict a longer summer, rather than predicting winter?”
It’s in Pete’s contract that he must be returned to the bay regardless of his prediction, so he doesn’t need to fear retribution from disgruntled Belfast residents.
Will Passy Pete become as popular as Punxsutawney Phil one day? We certainly hope so.