Written by Anita
August 21, 2009
There’s no better time of year to visit the Grand State of Maine. Roadside blueberry stands and lobster shacks have always been part of its draw, but now we have one more reason to visit: The Maine Lobster Festival.
Now in its 62nd year, the festival adds a generous dash of local flavor (mainly, lobster!) to the typical summer carnival. Sure there are the usual rides and games, but the festival also boasts uniquely local activities, including a lobster crate race, the coronation of the Maine Sea Goddess, and a Maine seafood cooking contest. Kids can don costumes for the Children’s Parade, compete in the Children’s Codfish Carry, or try their hands at crafts (at this year’s festival, they could make their own lobster-themed plates or puppets!) This year’s festival parade honored local lobstermen, with 89-year-old Alvin Rackliff, the community’s oldest, active licensed lobsterman, serving as Grand Marshal.
No visit to the festival would be complete without a visit to the aptly named “Eating Tent.” There, you can purchase a 1-1/4 lb steamed lobster (complete with dinner roll and buttery corn on the cob or homemade coleslaw) for $16. Feeling particularly hungry? Then get the “twin” lobster dinner for $26 (yes, there is a triple lobster dinner, but we didn’t dare ask about that!). Cooked expertly on site in what has been dubbed “The World’s Greatest Lobster Cooker” (capable of cooking 1,600 pounds of lobster in 15 minutes!), the lobster here is all that you hope it would be—moist and succulent, its shell soft enough to crack with your fingers. Other eating options include steamed clams or mussels, smoked shrimp or mussels, fried clam cakes, breaded shrimp or clams, and fried haddock or scallops. Still have room for dessert? Then you can sample the freshly baked strawberry shortcake or blueberry buckle or wander outside the tent’s confines for a deliciously decadent fried Twinkie (the cream stays cool...who knew?)
Missed this year’s festival? Then start making your plans now to attend the 63rd Annual Maine Lobster Festival, which will be held in Rockland’s Harbor Park August 4th – 8th*.
*Can’t make the Maine attraction? Then stop by Cindy’s Fish N Chips in Freeport, Maine. Owned and operated by Bob Pottle (who is reminiscent of Mel from Mel’s Diner), this roadside shack puts out some of the best lobster rolls in the state—cool (not cold!) lobster chunks, dressed lightly in creamy mayonnaise and served in a soft, freshly baked toasted bun. The fried clams also are supposed to pack a punch (winning the title of “Best Fried Clams on Earth” from the United Clam Lovers of America), but we didn’t sample them this time around. But, hey, there’s always next year….