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Birds chirping and flowers blooming are universal signs that spring has sprung, but for this neighborhood in Somerset, they wait for a different type of bud to sprout on a popular dogwood tree to mark the official beginning of spring.

Gregg Botelho has lived in Somerset his entire life. He makes a living working at a garden center in Dighton, and when it’s time to wind down, he enjoys an ice-cold Budweiser at his home on Robin Lane. A few years ago, he came across a funny post on Facebook of a six-pack of Budweiser thrown into a tree with a caption that read, “The Buds are on the tree, spring is here.”

“I saw it and I thought to myself, ‘Okay, I can do this better,’” Botelho said.

Courtesy of Kim Gossic Wilding

He began saving all of his cans. He decided to make his own sign that reads, “Spring is here! The Buds are on the trees!” and got it laminated with the Budweiser logo he scored from a local bar.

His fun little game started about six years ago and started with 60 beers. This year, Botelho hung up 100 beers.

When I asked him if he’s been saving up, he replied jokingly, “Let’s put it this way, I have no problem getting 100 empty beer cans.”

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As far as the neighbors are concerned, they love the tradition. Botelho said that one neighbor was upset he did not keep up with the tradition during the pandemic, going as far to say, “It’s all your fault, you didn’t put the cans up."

“I pulled out one day and there were four cars taking pictures,” he said. “The best was the FedEx guy who jumped out of his truck and started taking pictures.”

While some neighborhoods look forward to tulips returning, Robin Lane keeps their eyes on the dogwood tree for the arrival of the Buds. It’s a tradition that Botelho plans on keeping until all the Budweiser is gone.

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