The inspiration behind David Foster Wallace’s famed essay, “Consider the Lobster,” the Maine Lobster Festivalhas been going on for well over half a century. Starting back in 1947, this seaside celebration of Maine’s most famous food item has done much more than please visitors’ palates -- although you’ll certainly eat your fill. Along with introducing Mainers and out-of-towners alike to some of the most scrumptious ways to prepare lobster, the festival is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization, and after budgeting for future festivals, the bulk of the proceeds go right back into the local community, supporting a variety of charitable causes. For example, in 2013, the Maine Lobster Festival raised $50,000 for the Thomaston Fire Department to help them purchase a new utility truck -- a hefty portion of the department’s overall $75,000 fundraising goal.
So if you head to Rockland this summer, you’re in for a variety of treats. Not only will you find yourself full of delicious seafood, but you can also feel great about supporting the cause. Plus, the Maine Lobster Festival draws all manner of artisans and craftspeople vending their wares, not to mention its packed schedule of live entertainment including a pageant and parade. There really is something for everyone to enjoy!
The main event at the Maine Lobster Festival is pretty self-evident: eating your weight in fresh, delicious lobster!
But there’s so much else going on that you’d be hard pressed not to have a good time… even if you don’t like seafood at all. There’s a cooking contest, Steins and Vines beer and wine tasting event, tons of live musical entertainment, the Maine Sea Goddess Pageant and Coronation, and a parade -- and that’s just to name a few. For full details on the main events and to see the most up-to-date festival schedule, head to the official website.
1 Pleasant Street
Rockland, Maine 04841
Although there are no on-site camping options at the Maine Lobster Festival, there are plenty of places to camp in Rockland, Maine and the surrounding areas.
Camden Hills Campground is a private RV park right in Rockland. You’ll have a front-row seat for the festivities, as well as access to full 30/50 amp hookups with city water and sewer, as well as campground amenities like volleyball, horseshoes, a swimming pool, and more.
Megunticook Campground is another well-provisioned option owned and operated by the same family who host campers at the Camden Hills Campground described above. As such, it offers many of the same features -- and both campgrounds are pet-friendly.
Sandy Shores RV Resort is a private RV club camp, where each site is privately owned. Although they don’t generally offer per-night prices, you may be able to lease a space for a longer period of time if visiting the festival is part of a more extended Maine stay for you.
Staying in an RV is a great way to experience the Maine Lobster Festival -- or any big celebration, for that matter. You’ll get to enjoy the hectic days of eating and exploring knowing you have your very own private place to retreat to once you’ve had enough. And if you don’t already have an RV of your own, consider securing your RV rental from RVshare. Not only can renting by owner save you a huge percentage of what the big, nationwide chains cost, but you’ll also get a taste of what RVing is really like in a rig that’s actually used and loved by a real, live family.
For even more camping options in the Rockland area, check with the Maine Campground Owners’ Association.
The Maine Lobster Festival is not an event that offers on-site lodging options. But there are plenty of places to stay in the surrounding area, whether you’re looking for a comfortable hotel or a place to pitch your tent.
Many of the campgrounds outlined in our next section also offer cabins and tent-camping spots. But if you’re looking for a hotel or motel, here are just a few in to consider the Rockland area:
The Starlight Lodge is an affordable motel just a few minutes from the fairgrounds, offering kings, queens, and double beds in their 15 well-appointed rooms. But as that number suggests, this spot gets booked up quickly around Festival time, so be sure to make your reservations early!
The Rockland Harbor Hotel offers a comprehensive resort experience right in the heart of this quaint Maine town. Many of its rooms offer waterfront views, and perks include a fitness room and a complimentary hot breakfast.
The Limerock Inn is an elegant bed and breakfast tucked into a stunningly renovated Victorian. The house has been standing since 1892, when it was constructed for a Congressman, but with free Wifi and mobile docking stations, these accommodations are all modern -- and swanky, to boot!
This is only a very small selection of the accommodations available along Midcoast Maine. For more details on lodging options, click here.
The Camden-Rockland Region is about 3.5 hours northeast of Boston, less than two hours northeast of Portland, and about 90 minutes south of Bangor.
From Boston, Massachusetts (about 180 miles): Proceed north on I-95 to exit 44 (I-295, South Portland), then follow directions from Portland.
From Portland, Maine (about 80 miles): Take I-295 north to exit 28 in Brunswick. Take U.S. Route 1 north for Rockland, homaston area. For the Camden-Rockport area, turn left off U.S. Route 1 on Route 90 in Warren. Route 90 meets with U.S. Route 1 again in Rockport, just south of Camden.
From Bangor, Maine (about 60 miles): Proceed south on U.S. Route 1A to Stockton Springs, then south on U.S. Route 1.
Regular service from Boston (South Station and Logan Airport), Portland, and Bangor.
Major airlines serve Portland (PWM) and Bangor (BGR) airports. Daily commercial service is also available from Boston to Knox County Regional Airport (RKD) in Owls Head via Cape Air.
Regular service between Boston and Brunswick via the Amtrak Downeaster.
While there’s no designated parking available at the fairgrounds themselves, the Maine Lobster Festival offers free shuttles from the nearby South Elementary School, formerly Rockland District Middle School. Shuttles run all day long throughout the entire festival, and assistance is provided to help visitors find additional and accessible parking as needed.
General admission tickets may be purchased at each of the gates.
ACTIVE Military personnel who show ID are given free admission.
On Opening Day, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022, enjoy a discount on Adult admission tickets:
- Adults, $1; (12 and older).
Children 11-under are free
Thursday, Aug. 4, through Saturday, August 6, 2022:
- Adults, $8 (12 and older); Children 6-11 years old, $2.
- Children under 5 years old get in for free
Sunday, Aug. 7, 2022 will be Hometown and Family Fun Day. It will feature all of the Festival’s children’s events, including the internationally-renowned Great Crate Race at Rockland Harbor.
- Free Admission for all visitors!
Whether you roll up to Rockland in your RVshare rental or get there some other way, we here at headquarters want to share in the experience! Send us your photos and travel tales directly at [email protected], or tag us in your posts on Facebook and Instagram. Photos of those delicious lobster rolls might not let us actually taste the goodies, but we might still be inspired enough to reshare your experience with our followers. Bon appetit!
Check out @MaineLobsterFestival on Facebook, @MaineLobsterFest on Instagram, and @MELobsterFest on Twitter for event updates!
Please note, this is not the official source of the event information. While we try to be as comprehensive as possible, some details may have changed since the time this article was written. Please confirm final details with the official event page .