68th Annual Maine Lobster Festival
The 68th Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland Maine will be held Wednesday, July 29th through Sunday, August 2nd, 2015.
It is the largest celebration of all things lobster on the Eastern seaboard. An average of 26,000 pounds of fresh from the water Maine Lobsters are served during the five days of the festival at the “Eating Tent”.
The Maine Lobster Festival of course features lobsters and celebrates all things lobster. The Maine Lobster Festival also includes a great community parade on Saturday morning, lobster cooking contests, lobster eating contests, dress your baby like a lobster diaper derby race, lobster crate races, touch tanks with real lobsters, Made in Maine art and crafts tent, a carnival, amusement park rides, musical entertainment, a Maine Lobster Festival Sea Goddess scholarship contest and of course at the center of it all is the Main Eating Tent serving up over 20,000 succulent Maine lobsters from the world’s largest lobster cooker. The Maine Lobster Festival is run entirely by volunteers (over 1,000 people) and the festival gives back to the local communities through the purchase of ambulances, repairing public docks, improvements to the Recreational Center and the high school auditorium and other such projects or charities where the community is served.
The schedule and line up of live entertainment is available at Maine Lobster Festival in the spring. The Lobster Festival is always held for five days and begins the Wednesday before the first Saturday of August. This means that if the first Saturday in August is August 6th than the festival would start on the 3rd; if the first Saturday in August is August 1st than the festival would start on July 29th. In 2014, the dates for the 67th Annual Maine Lobster Festival are Wednesday, July 30th through Sunday, August 3rd, 2014.
On Wednesday at 12 noon, the Maine Lobster Festival opens when King Neptune, his court of sea hags and the reigning Maine Sea Goddess arrive by boat at Rockland’s Public Landing and officially raise the flag to open the year’s Maine Lobster Festival. At this time, the Maine Eating Tent opens with single, double and triple lobster dinners as well as the other food vendors offering lobster rolls, fried clams, chowders, burgers, fried dough and other festival delights. Throughout the five day festival there are an ever-changing number of live performances or events that are scheduled on the Main Stage or the Entertainment tent set amongst the carnival rides and games. Also, there is a wonderful Maine Fine Art and Maine Made tent featuring many of our local talented artists. A Marine Experience Tent where you can learn all about the creatures of the big blue sea including a touch tank with lobsters. There is also a Children’s Tent for a rest and play area for children and various children activities. Typically there are tours of the local Coast Guard Station as Rockland is a Coast Guard City. Additionally, most years there is a Navy ship that visits Rockland as part of the Festival and offers free tours. The crew from both the Coast Guard station and the Navy Ship participate in the Lobster Festival as well escorting the Sea Goddesses for the coronation ceremony and in the parade. Wednesday evening is always reserved for the Coronation of the Sea Goddess on the Maine Stage.
Another highlight of the festival is the “Big Parade” which is scheduled for Saturday at 10am. The parade route is Main Street from the north and ends at the gates to the festival grounds. Thousands of people line the street from the Dunkin Donuts on North Main Street to the Public Landing. It attracts thousands of people each year and lasts 2 to 2.5 hours. Each year the theme for the parade is different and there is a contest amongst the floats for the best interpretation of the theme. Do not forget your camp chair, the sunscreen, a bottle of water and a Ziploc bag if you are into collecting the assorted candies thrown from the floats.
Sunday is “Hometown” Day and admission to the Maine Lobster Festival is free for all ages. A highlight for Sunday’s activities is the Great Lobster Crate Races where children of all ages race across the string of 50 wooden lobster crates that are tied together until they topple into the harbor. The winners are by age categories and are determined not by how big a splash they make but by how many crates they ran across before they were toppled. The current record was set in 2008 and is 4, 501 crates.
Can’t make it this year to Rockland for the Maine Lobster Festival? Don’t worry Rockland,
the Lobster Capital of the World, offers sweet, succulent, fresh Maine lobster year round.