Move over, turkey. Christmas is lobster time in Nova Scotia

Nova Scotians looking to buy fresh lobster on Christmas Eve better get to the trucks early.

'Family's coming home to visit and they want lobster'

Instead of a turkey on the table Christmas Day, many Nova Scotians will be having lobster instead. (Emma Davie/CBC)

Whether it's Christmas Eve lobster chowder, or replacing the annual turkey with a more Nova Scotian creature from the sea, local lobster sellers say this is easily their busiest time of the year.

But for people looking to buy, the trucks on the side of the road sell out pretty quickly.

Jennelle Strowbridge was completely sold out of lobster in under two hours on Sunday.

It took less than two hours for Jenelle Strowbridge to sell out of lobsters on Dec. 23. (Jeorge Sadi/CBC)

"Family's coming home to visit and they want lobster," she said. "I have a lot of people buying for Christmas Eve or Christmas dinner. They have lobster instead of turkey."

Strowbridge has been selling lobster in the Steak and Stein parking lot on Portland Street in Dartmouth for nine years. She expects sell out on Christmas Eve just as quickly — "If not faster."

She said no one seems to find it odd they're buying seafood from the back of a truck. "I just think people get to know you and they just keep on coming back."

And her truck certainly wasn't the only one selling out on Sunday.

John Heffler works at Gary's Fresh Seafood, parked in Bayers Lake. He said this is their busiest time of year.

"People love their chowders at Christmas," Heffler said.

People were lined up for lobsters at Gary’s Fresh Seafood in Bayers Lake on Sunday. (Emma Davie/CBC)

Veronica Snair was one of many lined up at Gary's, where she was buying lobster for Sunday night dinner.

"We've had so many precious memories sitting around the table for special occasions eating lobster," she said.

"We take them home and cook them up and enjoy the juice flying and the hitting and cracking of the shells. It's all part of the fun."

Veronica Snair said lobsters are saved "for special times." (Jeorge Sadi/CBC)

She said lobster at Christmas is a Nova Scotia tradition. "Anytime we have relatives from Ontario, it's a must."

Snair said she prefers to get her lobsters from a truck.

"It's because of the price of it. … It's better. And I know they're nice and fresh."

At another lobster truck on Main Street in Dartmouth, Chris Alexander wasn't wasting any time. He put his five lobsters straight into a pot that was waiting in the back of his truck.

Alexander said he was picking up the lobsters at his daughter's request.

"It was tradition in the family we used to have lobster chowder on Christmas Eve and sometime over the Christmas holiday we'd have lobster. So I think we're having lobster for Christmas dinner."

Chris Alexander bought five lobsters for three people on Sunday. “One guy’s a big eater, that’s for you Kip — my son-in-law," he said, laughing. (Jeorge Sadi/CBC)

But the rush for lobster won't end after Christmas.

Both Heffler and Strowbridge said they expect more lineups on New Year's Eve, too.

"People partying and want to cook up lobster and celebrate," Strowbridge said.

She said it's getting busier every year, but no one seems to mind buying from a truck instead of a store.

"They prefer to support the fishermen," she said.

"I just think people get to know you and they just keep on coming back."

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