|by JD Rinne||Maine, Rockland||9|
Rockland, Maine, really knows how to throw a party. In January, it was the Pies on Parade event, in celebration of National Pie Day. This weekend, the town is putting on the 62nd annual Maine Lobster Festival.
These people are not afraid of butter.
The Lobster Festival, a five-day event packed with traditional festival activities like food booths and live music, really tears through its namesake crustacean—in 2008, more than 20,000 pounds of lobster were prepared in a cooker on the shore (apparently a show in itself).
Also indulge in the Lobster Crate Race, where participants run over partially submerged lobster crates in the chilly waters of the harbor. The new record—4,501 crates—was set just last year.
There's also a seafood cooking contest, an art fair, a marine tent with live lobster and other sea specimens, a 10K run, a huge parade with floats, a children's activity area, and tours of the U.S. Coastal Guard station. See the full schedule.
The festival officially kicks off tomorrow with free admission all day; tickets are regularly $8 per person ($2 for kids). At the food tents, a huge lobster dinner will set you back $15, but it doesn't get much fresher than "cooked on the shore." Parking and shuttles to the festival area are free and plentiful.
If boats are more your style, check out the 7th Annual Boat Builders Festival (with live pirate raid!) in Boothbay Harbor, Maine—about 45 miles southwest of Rockland.