Groove City Lady rings in the New Year

CAMBRIDGE — Hundreds of Cambridge residents shivered on Poplar Street just a few minutes before midnight on New Year;s Eve. They were there to celebrate this city’s second annual “boat drop” to ring in the new year.

Groove City Lady is the name of a 4-foot replica of a traditional waterman’s deadrise workboat, a common craft in local waters. Brian Roche, chief technology officer at Bay Country Communications, Rob Kramer, a welder in Hurlock, and Scott Shilling, owner of Bay Country Communications, created the boat and ramp as a unique way to celebrate the New Year in Cambridge.

Cold temperatures created a unique situation on Sunday night. With wind chill estimated at about 6 degrees above zero, you needed an Eskimo suit to dress warmly. As a consequence, a closed Poplar Street was nearly empty of humanity after the boat and track were set up, with people starting to trickle in at a quarter to midnight. At five minutes to midnight the trickle turned into a steady stream, as folks walked in from all directions.

The Groove City Lady was released at a few seconds to midnight, and reached the bottom of the track right at the start of the new year, to great cheering from the crowd. And then, just as quickly as it started, everybody scattered, off to warmer climes.

It was a cold night in Cambridge, and only this week is it starting to warm up. But the second annual boat drop in Cambridge was a fun way to ring in the new year — especially if you were wearing your Eskimo suit!

Paul Clipper is the editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at

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