Lobsters are paired with rolls at the 67th annual Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland on Wednesday before corn and other goodies are added to the trays. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

It’s nearly time. The annual Maine Lobster Festival returns to Rockland Wednesday for five days of feasting and celebrating Maine’s signature crustacean.

The 76th Maine Lobster Festival will be held from Aug. 2 through 6 at Harbor Park, and will have free admission. This year, the festival is partnering with the Maine Lobstermen’s Community Alliance and the Maine Lobsterman Association to raise awareness for the Maine lobster industry and to raise money for the Save Maine Lobstermen campaign, according to Shannon Kinney, director of media and marketing for the festival. Festival-goers will find donation buckets and QR codes to donate to Save Maine Lobstermen.

Another notable change this year: the Sea Goddess Coronation is now the Maine Lobster Festival Delegate. Along with the name change comes an expansion of who is eligible to participate. It’s now open to anyone aged 16 to 22 who wants to be an advocate for Maine’s lobster industry.

Here are some of the notable events happening this year.

The giant lobster cooker at the 1952 Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland.

The lobster, of course

It wouldn’t be the Maine Lobster Festival without an enormous amount of lobster. There will be a seafood cooking contest, vendors and thousands of pounds of lobster cooked in the world’s largest lobster cooker, according to the festival. Make sure to come on an empty stomach.

Coast Guard open house

Something new this year is the Rockland Coast Guard will be hosting an open house, Kinney said. People can tour the barracks and see what the base is like. Kinney said some of the Coast Guard members will be competing for bragging rights in the crate race on Sunday as well.


The Big Parade will be on Saturday at 10 a.m. down Rockland’s Main Street. There will be floats, bands and the New England Patriots cheerleaders. The theme is “The Spirit of ‘76,” and festival-goers are encouraged to creatively interpret the theme, according to the festival. This year, like years past, political presentations are not allowed on the grounds or in the parade, Kinney said, since the festival is a politically neutral event.

Live music

The festival is boasting a diverse music lineup this year, Kinney said. Performers include Tom Petty tribute band Damn The Torpedoes, Irish band Bards of Gungywamp, Stream Reggae and country artists like Jim Gibson. There will be live music all five days.

Beer and wine tasting

For those who are 21 and over, the Steins and Vines tasting event will be on Aug. 3 and 4 with $40 admission. This event will offer 12 tastings per ticket of Maine-made beer, wine and spirits. This year, there will be six wineries, eight breweries, and four cider companies, according to a spokesperson for the festival. Tasters also get a commemorative glass.

Kids’ games

Mindy Powell of Spruce Head puts a temporary tattoo on two-year-old Ezra Thorne of Thomaston Thursday at the Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland. “It’s been very busy. A lot of kids from all over,” Powell, who belongs to the Pirates of the Dark Rose, said. Credit: Abigail Curtis / BDN

There are going to be many activities for children to enjoy at the festival. There will be the crate race, the cod carry, a lobster eating contest and bounce houses.

There will also be a bigger petting zoo this year, Kinney said. And, if anyone wants a chance to hold a live lobster, there will be a touch tank at the marine tent.


Jules Walkup reports on the midcoast and is a Report for America corps member. They graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism and moved to Maine from Tampa, Florida in July 2023.