In the world of shellfish, I most definitely prefer lobster over crab. The reasoning is simple… Less work for more meat. With that said, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that during our time in Vacationland, I found it necessary to visit the annual Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland, Maine and see what all lobster maine-ia was about.
On one sunny day in August, Charles, my brother, Gabe, and Uncle Mack all hopped in a car and made the less than two hour day trip from inland Maine over to the coast.
Upon arrival, we paid the $8 entrance fee. Admission bands on wrists, we explored the festival grounds – our ultimate destination being the food tent where all kinds of seafood and lobster was being served.
^^ Fun Fact: One of my cousins painted the artwork that was used for the marketing flyers and program covers of the festival :)
While waiting in a very long line to get our lobster dinner, Charles went in search for a lobster roll from the nearby private food vendors which wasn’t too hard to find. And then, of course, my brother and Uncle Mack followed in his steps and got their own lobster rolls as an “appetizer” to the main course. I may have taken a bite or two, it was very tasty.
About 10 minutes later, a huge batch of freshly steamed lobster passed us in large crates and the food volunteers were ready to start serving food to the line of lobster enthusiasts.
^^ I got the single lobster platter that came with a whole lobster, corn on the cob, potato salad, bread, butter annnnd most importantly, melted butter to dip the meat in.
^^ My Uncle Mack got the Fisherman’s platter that came with a variety of fried seafood.
Wondering what the best whole lobster eating practices are? Welllll… First you must put a bib on. Very important especially when wearing all white.
Then, you must bless the lobster with a kiss before diving into the fun of cracking through the lobster’s shell to get through to the yummy meat.
Some people prefer the meat in a lobster’s claw. I prefer the meat from the lobster’s tail and body.
^^ The only thing about getting to this part of a lobster is making sure I get all guts and doo doo out which requires my undivided attention.
It wasn’t long before everyone in our party finished the food. I was very happy with my whole lobster while my Uncle and Charles, who also got the Fisherman’s platter, felt a little underwhelmed by the Fisherman’s platter to which I responded, “that’s what you get for coming to a lobster festival and not getting lobster.” lol
To be fair, they did get lobster rolls but I never miss an opportunity to joke them. :)
After eating, we continued exploring more of the festival’s fairgrounds where we got some funnel cake to share and stopped by the lobster steam area and art fair to visit with our cousins. We eventually made our way over to the marina to enjoy the view before heading back to our car and making the drive back home.
Overall, the Maine Lobster Festival has all the makings of your typical food festival. A ferris wheel, plenty of savory and sweet food vendors and fun activities to do.
What sets it apart is the focus on celebrating everything lobster from the local source.
Another thing to note is that the organization which runs this festival is a NON- profit. As a result, a portion of the ticket sales are dedicated to helping those in need within the community and to date, it has provided nearly $500,000 in donations to various causes within the Rockland area.
A lobster festival with a cause? I can get down with that. :)
What’s your favorite kind of shellfish to eat?