Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Famous 64th Maine Lobster Festival

Betsy in her free T-shirt
I have been wanting to come to this Fest for at least ten years now. I’m sure Nancy is tired of hearing about it from me. Every time I saw an ad or promotion for it I longed to go. And there are ads in Maine literature and magazines all year long. This is me, one of the greatest lobster lovers in the world……it’s my favorite food. I could only imagine being surrounded by tons of the steamed red delectables and being able to eat as many as I wanted for as long as I wanted! For 63 years I had missed out but no longer!
So, in March when we were making plans to spend a lot of the summer in Maine, I made sure we would be here for the first week of August to fulfill this lobster dream! When Nancy agreed, I also went so far as to sign us up online to volunteer at the Fest. Hey, free admission and a free t-shirt and lobster after our volunteer commitment, how could we go wrong? And we would be helping the great people who put this event on each year so that some money can go to charity.

The world's largest lobster cooker
The Maine Lobster Fest ("lobstah" as Mainers say!) takes place over 5 days on a beautiful harbor in Rockland, Maine, “the lobster capital of the world” as they call themselves. A non-profit organization puts on the fest and it is run entirely by volunteers (nearly 1,000). There are many activities besides eating lobster like the coronation of the Maine Sea Goddess, an open juried Art Show, music and concerts, exhibition tents with Maine-Made products, lobster-associated food vendors, a lobster cooking contest, carnival rides with a huge Ferris wheel and a parade through Rockland that had marching sailors from the U.S. Navy Ship USS Mahan, a missile destroyer, where tours were given. There was also the Great International Lobster Crate Race and the “little lobster” Diaper Derby. What other Fest has those?
Even "Miss Maine" came to the Fest to eat lobster!
My volunteer assignment was a 4-hour shift at the front gate where I welcomed people to the Fest, put “bracelets” on their arms so that they could come and go at will, and handed out Fest programs. It was a great way for me to talk to guests from all over the world that come to this famous Fest and I had a great time. Of course, you would know that Nancy’s assignment was in the Food Tent where she had a great time plating food to be served up as the crowds converged so she was happy too on her 4-hour shift. We both left our shifts happy that we contributed and wanting to eat lobster. We even bought lobster to bring back to the motor home and cook. That, of course, was my idea and Nance went along with it!

Well now I can say that I got to finally go to this wonderful Festival after wanting to for all of these years. After living in New Orleans and going to Jazz Fest, Mardi Gras, French Quarter Fest, etc. I came to realize that festivals in Maine are not near the size of those but seventy five thousand people go to this Fest and over 10 tons of lobsters are served. This year the World’s Largest Lobster Cooker, built in 2008, steamed 1,600 pounds of lobster at a time, over 15 minutes. I can’t begin to tell you what a great day we had as we walked along the harbor to our car and I noticed the butter stains on my free t-shirt……a dream come true for me!

Rides at the Fest
Entrance to the Fest and the long line waiting for lobster dinners.
This is where I volunteered, as guests entered. 
Midway at the Fest

Nancy eating famous chowder.  It was the best!
A fish exhibit from a local seafood vendor.  Note the title.
A view of the Fest over beautiful Rockland Harbor

Lobster crate races

Nancy at her volunteer position
serving up seafood

A float in the parade

I can't get enough photos of beautiful lobsters!
Smoked shrimp, scallops and lobster, oh my!
Nancy and the lobster balloons that were everywhere
Nancy holding lobsters - boy was she a good sport!
Beautiful Rockland Harbor where the Fest was held
The lobster dinner line where lobsters were served
The end of a wonderful day with lobsters cooked at home
outside the motorhome

1 comment:

  1. Great stuff here, I love paintings and drawings and all kinds of arts but specially drawings...
    Check out the link, I think you'll like it... Coming back for sure!


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