Get ready for five days of fun and feasting at the Maine Lobster Festival! Always held on the first weekend of August, the 5-day event begins on Wednesday and continues through the weekend. Tens of thousands of visitors travel to Rockland, Maine, every summer to participate in this annual celebration. Offering more than just fresh, local lobster, the festival also features live entertainment, cooking contests, arts and crafts, and fun for the whole family.
From its humble beginnings as a small local maritime celebration, the Maine Lobster Festival now attracts national and international attention from lobster lovers worldwide. An all-volunteer operation, the non-profit organization donates all proceeds back to local communities. The monies are used to support local food pantries, high school sports, community groups, and emergency services.
Food Glorious Food
The main attraction, of course, is fresh local lobster. A typical Maine Shore Dinner includes 1 ¼ pound lobster with warm, melted butter, corn on the cob, steamed clams, and clam chowder served in the Main Eating Tent with a view of Penobscot Bay. But the offerings don’t stop there. In the Lobster Café, near the entrance to the Maine Eating Tent, tempt your taste buds with lobster rolls, lobster mac n cheese, lobster bisque, lobster-stuffed risotto balls, and lobster wontons. A la carte items include an array of seafood chowders, steamed mussels, steamed clams, homemade coleslaw, and local corn. Finally, to complete your feast, save room for Maine blueberry cobbler and strawberry shortcake. In addition to all these lovely lobster goodies, start your day with an all-you-can-eat blueberry pancake breakfast, served Thursday through Sunday until 10:00 AM,
Seafood Cooking Contest
Secondly, amateur chefs vie for prize money and bragging rights at the annual seafood cooking contest. Recipes must be original and feature fresh, canned, or frozen local Maine seafood. Each contestant provides their own ingredients, utensils, and décor for presentation. Recipes are prepared at the festival grounds. Participants are required to present a complete list of ingredients and step-by-step instructions. Winners will be chosen by a panel of judges based on the creativity of the dish, suitability of the seafood featured, and simplicity of the recipe.
The Big Parade
Without a doubt, the most anticipated of all events at the Maine Lobster Festival, the Big Parade, sets off down Main Street at 10:00 AM on Saturday. One of the largest Maine parades, all are welcome to participate and encouraged to get creative with their interpretation of the theme. The 2023 theme invites you to channel the “Spirit of 76.”
The Great Crate Race
One of the festival’s highlights is the Great Crate Race. It was the brainchild of William Atwood, who created the concept in the ‘70s. A string of 50 floating lobster crates stretches across the harbor. The challenge is to scamper across without getting dunked into the chilly Maine waters. Fun to watch, the race requires skill and agility, sure-footedness, and a sense of fun and adventure.
Lodging for the Maine Lobster Festival
The Maine Lobster Festival attracts a crowd of both locals and visitors. Be sure to book your accommodations well in advance if you plan on attending this event. Ideally located in a quiet residential area just blocks from downtown, the Berry Manor Inn offers luxe accommodations with all the modern conveniences in a beautiful Victorian home.
Published May 2023