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Your Guide to the Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland, ME

If you’ve never been to the Maine Lobster Festival, you may want to start planning your trip now. This world-famous event offers much more than just shellfish.

What makes this festival so unique?

Join us as we crack into this one-of-a-kind event to see what it’s all about.

Let’s dig in!

About the Maine Lobster Festival

If you’re looking for a way to celebrate your favorite crustacean, the Maine Lobster Festival is where you want to be. For five days in August, nearly 70,000 attendees flock to the central coast to join in the fun. 

A fresh made Maine lobster roll with mayonnaise, celery, butter, and lemon with a side of chips.

Live music, cooking contests, and of course, as much lobster as you can stomach are all staples of the event. There’s a 10k road race, a parade, and a pageant where local women compete for the title of “Maine Sea Goddess.” You’ll also find local artists selling their works at the crafts and fine arts tents.

The event offers plenty of activities for children, too. When not hanging out in the kid’s tent, they can participate in the Diaper Derby, the Cod Carry, or the one-mile Fun Run. 

The Maine Lobster Festival is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting local communities. In fact, since the first annual fair in 1947, they’ve donated nearly half a million dollars to food pantries, emergency services, and college scholarship programs. 

Each year, around 1,300 volunteers show up to help put together this family-friendly event. 

Where Is the Maine Lobster Festival?

Rockland, Maine, is home to the Maine Lobster Festival for good reason. This town exports more lobster than just about anywhere else in the world. But it’s so much more than shellfish. In fact, National Geographic named Rockland the “Best Adventure Town in Maine.” 

If you’re drawn to the water, you’ll be in heaven in the MidCoastal region. Sailing is big business here. Rockland began as a shipbuilding town, and those traditions are still alive today. 

Over the last 30 years, tourism to this sleepy fishing village has increased. When the Maine Lobster Festival isn’t going on, you’ll still find plenty to enjoy. Art museums and galleries feature regional creators, and there’s always good food to eat!

Is the Festival Good for Children?

One of the best things about the Maine Lobster Festival is its family-friendly atmosphere. The organizers ensure kids don’t feel left out of the fun. 

Little ones won’t have to watch from the sidelines. Kids up to age 12 can test their speed in the Fun Run down Main Street, compete in a lobster eating contest, or participate in the themed children’s parade.

During the Cod Fish Carry event, contenders must race across a stage, put on a full set of foul-weather gear, and tote a 12-pound cod back to their starting point. Whoever has the fastest time is crowned the winner.

And in the Little Lobster Diaper Derby, babies are let loose on the Maine Stage to see who can crawl the fastest to the finish line. 

FYI: Learn all about whale watching on the Maine coast.

What Is the International Great Crate Race?

One of the biggest attractions of the Maine Lobster Festival is the International Great Crate Race. Contestants must run across 50 partially submerged wooden lobster crates in the inner harbor. It’s probably no surprise that most racers end up in the chilly waters.

This test of speed, balance, and agility is open to kids and adults alike. In 2022, brothers Aiden Genthner, 12, and Kobe, age nine, took home first and second place. 

Is the Maine Lobster Festival Free?

Another reason for the Maine Lobster Festival’s popularity is that admission is free. That’s right. You can enjoy much of the fun at absolutely no cost. However, some special events require you to purchase tickets.

The Steins and Vines tasting is one such event, but the price tag is worth it. You can taste beer and wine from 15 local breweries and vineyards, and you’ll get to leave with a commemorative glass. Because Steins and Vines is so well-loved, they now offer four sessions over two days.

Best Places to Stay Near the Maine Lobster Festival

You’ll want to give yourself more than one day to enjoy everything the festival offers. That means you’ll need somewhere to rest your head after all the excitement. Here are a few options for you to check out.

Camden Hills Campground

If you’re looking for somewhere to camp near the festival, Camden Hills is a great choice. The spacious sites have full hookups. You’ll also have access to a dump station, a laundromat, and a general store on site. 

This campground has a lot to keep you occupied while you’re there. A heated swimming pool, volleyball court, and playground will entertain the whole family. 

LimeRock Inn

Touted as Rockland’s first bed and breakfast, the LimeRock Inn offers eight guest rooms with a Victorian flair. You’ll be treated to gourmet meals, luxury spa amenities, and extras like a guest pantry, so you’ll feel right at home. 

The manicured gardens are the perfect place to enjoy your morning coffee while you plan your next adventure along the coast. 

Rockland Harbor Hotel

If you want to get closer to the action, book a room at the Rockland Harbor Hotel on Main Street. You’ll be within walking distance of museums, performing arts centers, and the best restaurants in town.

There’s a fitness center, laundry facility, free WiFi, and a complimentary hot breakfast. The harbor views are an added bonus.

Is a Road Trip to the Maine Lobster Festival Worth It?

The Maine Lobster Festival is Rockland’s premier attraction, and we understand why. There’s so much to do, see, and, most of all, taste! Even if lobster isn’t your thing, you’ll enjoy watching the many competitions or even taking part yourself. 

If you can’t get to Rockland in the first week of August, visiting the area is still worth a trip. The MidCoastal region has a lot to offer visitors year-round.

DON’T FORGET: Know this Maine-Slang before visiting!

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