Tyler MacLean shows off some the LEGO lobsters that will be available during the Pictou Lobster Carnival from July 11 to 13. A lobster building session will take place on July 11 at 3 p.m. at the Pictou library.
DURHAM – Their shells are hard.
Their colour is red.
They are small enough to make a fisheries officer pull out his fine book, but have no fear because these lobsters are 100 per cent legal.
Thanks to eight-year-old Tyler MacLean of Durham, the Pictou Lobster Carnival will have a good supply of lobsters on hand in honour of its 80th anniversary celebrations, but don’t expect to melt some butter over them anytime soon.
The miniature lobsters will be plentiful on carnival weekend because MacLean approached LEGO building blocks and asked that a donation of their LEGO lobsters be sent to the Pictou Lobster Carnival.
“The first thing that happened is that I went to the Buskers Festival in Halifax last summer and there was a LEGO tent with lobsters,” he said. “As soon as I saw them, I said to mom that I think the Lobster Carnival should have some of those.”
He got LEGO’s contact information from the Busker organizers and asked them to send a supply of lobster LEGO to the carnival committee.
He said about a month ago, his mother got an email saying that a donation was on its way.
“I thought there was about a 20 per cent chance they would come, but as it turns out, they did,” he said.
MacLean said he has his LEGO lobsters that he made at the Busker’s Festival in his room, although he admits they may be in pieces, but other children will get the chance to make their own lobsters on July 11 at 3 p.m. at the Pictou Library. Children will get to take home their LEGO lobster creation.
“It took me about seven minutes to put one together,” he said. “My mom and dad say it is impossible to do it in seven minutes, but I sort them by colour and than I start working on them. It was kind of hard to sort these by colour since they are all red, so I sorted them by size.”
He said the instructions with the LEGO kids are easy to follow and he thinks that children of all ages will be able to make their own lobster.
“Except newborns,” he added.
Kent Corbett of the Pictou Lobster Carnival said LEGO sent the committee 500 kits that will be available at the library on Friday and throughout the carnival from July 11-13.
“The library is hosting a lobster building event and we have them available to give away at the carnival booth on the CN grounds,” he said. “There will also be a booth available for people to put them together.”
Corbett said the carnival committee is in the final stages of preparation with about a week left before the 80th anniversary kicks off.
“Everything is coming together good,” he said. “We are looking for volunteers who can work the admissions booth or the merchandise table. If anyone is interested in volunteering an hour or more they can call the carnival office at 485-5150 and leave their name and number.”
Some of the carnival events kick off this Sunday with the annual Run for the Lobster 5K and 10K at 9 a.m. at Advocate Printing at Brown’s Point. A musical jam session will also take place at 3 p.m. at Carvers.
On Monday, Pictou Mayor Joe Hawes and County Warden Ronnie Ballie will host a tea at the New Horizon’s Seniors Club at 2 p.m. and musical performances will take place at various businesses in the town from July 8 to 10.
On Friday, July 11, the carnival officially kicks off with the opening ceremonies on the Main Stage at 6 p.m. that will include the annual net cutting, lobster banding competition and king lobster contest. This is followed by the Queen of the Sea crowning at 7 p.m. An airshow will take place at 9:45 p.m. followed by fireworks.
On Saturday, 24 Maritime modified boats are expected to test out the waters in Pictou Harbour for races at 11:30 a.m. followed by the lobster boat races 2:30 p.m. The Mardi Gras street parade is at 6:45 pm.
On Sunday, the antique car show will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. along Caladh Avenue.
Corbett said a long list of entertainment is also slated for the weekend and advance passes for $10 each and are currently available at local businesses. They will also be for sale at the admission booth until Friday evening.
Admission to the main stage per night is $5 a person. Some of the entertainment includes, The Stanfields, Garrett Mason, Charlie A’Court, Dave Gunning, and JP Cormier.
Corbett said the carnival committee is optimistic about this year’s event, especially since its books are now back in the black.
After a heavy debt put the carnival in jeopardy last year, volunteers have been hosting events from ham and salad suppers to professional wrestling show to get out of the deep financial hole.
He said special thanks goes to the people who recently donated bottles at John’s Bottle Exchange and helped raise $1,200 for the carnival.
Others businesses such as Sharon’s Restaurant raised money for the fireworks show while people were very supportive of the carnival fundraisers, he said.