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Maine Lobster Festival

Rockland, Maine

Jul 31 2019 - Aug 04 2019

Price: Varies

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The inspiration behind David Foster Wallace’s famed essay, “Consider the Lobster,” the Maine Lobster Festival has 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, 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!

ACTIVITIES & ENTERTAINMENT

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.

LOCATION

1 Pleasant Street 

Rockland, Maine 04841

RVING AT THE EVENT

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 State Park is a nearby public park with nice camping facilities, including water and electric hookups for RVs. Reservations are recommended, and can be made online using this system.
  • 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.
  • Saltwater Farm Campground is a privately-owned, resort-style RV park in the nearby town of Thomaston. Along with 50-amp full hookup service, the park boast a pool, bathhouse, laundry room, library, and 500 feet of waterfront with fishing access -- just in case you don’t get your fill at the festival. (Somehow.)
  • 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.

WHERE TO STAY

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.

HOW TO GET THERE

Whether you fly in or drive from home, Rockland isn’t hard to find -- and it’s just four hours from Boston and only two from Portland, Maine. The Rally bus company also offers routes to Rockland from several New England cities, including the following:

  • Augusta, Maine
  • Bangor, Maine
  • Biddeford, Maine 
  • Brunswick, Maine 
  • Freeport, Maine
  • Lewiston, Maine
  • Lincoln, Maine
  • Portland, Maine
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Lowell, Massachusetts
  • Worcester, Massachusetts 
  • Concord, New Hampshire
  • Manchester, New Hampshire
  • Nashua, New Hampshire
  • Portsmouth, New Hampshire
  • Rochester, New Hampshire

PARKING

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.

TICKETS & PRICING

General admission tickets can be purchased at the gate upon arrival at the event, and are priced as follows per the festival website:

  • Adults 12 and over: $1
  • Children 11 and under: free

Thursday, August 1 through Saturday, August 3:

  • Adults 12 and over: $8
  • Children 6-11: $2
  • Children 5 and under: free

Sunday, August 4 is Hometown Family Fun Day, featuring children’s events including the Great Crate Race. Admission is free for all! Also, active-duty military with valid ID also receive free admission every day of the festival.

WRAP UP

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.