Every February 2, the nation’s attention turns to the hamlet of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania as “Phil” the groundhog emerges from his enclosure. Will he see his shadow (meaning six more weeks of winter), or will he not (meaning an early spring)? However, this Monday comes the summer version. Who knew? Well, this Labor Day your interest should turn to Belfast, Maine. That’s where “Passy Pete” the lobster will determine if we’re getting six more weeks of summer or an early winter.
Now, there’s no shadow involved with my man, Pete. Come Monday, he will be pulled from his morning swim in the Belfast Harbor and brought ashore. It is then that “Passy Pete” has a choice between two scrolls. One predicts six more weeks of summer. The other, an early winter. And after record-breaking temperatures across the country this summer, I think I can speak for all in guessing which one is more desirable.
According to the Belfast Chamber of Commerce website, “The clairvoyant crustacean has come out of pristine Belfast Harbor for the last 7 years and has correctly predicted the continued length of the summer season each time. He communicates the prophecy to a select group of local residents who call themselves the Belfast Barons, using scrolls which are safely preserved in a glass case at the local chamber of commerce during the intervening months, and are brought out each Labor Day. “
In case you were wondering, “Passy Pete” gets his name from the Passagassawakeag (or “Passy”) River flowing into Belfast Bay. So, move over Punxsutawney Phil the groundhog. Make way for “Passy Pete” the Maine lobster wo will predict summer’s end/winter’s start on Labor Day in Belfast, Maine.