Last year, Cheryl Michaelsen, owner of the Berry Manor Inn in Rockland, ME, could not stand to sit by and watch on the sidelines as lobstermen and women in this Midcoast, Maine town caught near record lobster hauls while traditional Canadian markets rejected them. The result meant prices dropped while lobster remained in abundance. Michaelsen turned to her fellow colleagues at the Historic Inns of Rockland and said “Let’s turn lobsters into Lobsteraid!” Lobsterpalooza was the brainstorm of the four progressive Historic Inns of Rockland who then enlisted support from the Maine Lobster Promotion Council and the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce, Rockland Main Street Inc and Blueberry Broadcasting to raise enthusiasm for eating lobster and celebrating an abundant supply in the Midcoast Maine region.
This year, Lobsterpalooza is once again a week-long celebration of lobster taking place September 8-14, 2013 throughout the Penobscot Bay Region. Throughout Port Clyde, Owl’s Head, Rockland, Camden Lincolnville, and surrounding Penobscot Bay towns businesses will celebrate the lobster harvest with everything from a crustacean cash mobs to $10 lobster specials in restaurants, lectures, workshops, lobster and wine or olive oil tastings and more.
“It makes sense that we’d hold Lobsterpalooza in the Penobscot Bay region,” said Michaelsen, “After all, we are the self-proclaimed lobster capital of the universe! This is our way of reminding residents and travelers alike how lucky we are to enjoy the abundant supply of lobster here and that lobster season exists well into the fall,” finished Michaelsen.
Last year nearly 45 restaurants, spas and retail stores signed on to feature lobster for the Lobsterpalooza week with everything from a free lobster with special spa treatments at spas to a lobster off the boat. In 2013 the number of participating businesses is expected to rise. Inns throughout the region will feature lobster on the breakfast menu during Lobsterpalooza week and will create Lobster & Stay packages, while offering specially discounted tickets for lobster adventures. A number of restaurants will feature new lobster entrees on the menu along with old favorites and offer $10 lobster specials.
Additionally, Crustacean Cash Mobs will be held at three Lobster pounds and fish stores. All Aboard Trolley Company will offer a special “Nap-AH and Lob-STAH” Wine tour and lobster lovers will have the chance to pull traps on a working lobster boat and take dinner home! K. Stephens, author of The Ghost Trap will offer two readings combined with video clips of 4th generation lobsterman, Ryan Post and beer or wine pairings.
Lobsterpalooza will culminate on September 14, 2013 in a Crustacean Celebration to be held at the State of Maine Cheese Co in Rockport with a Lobster Farmer’s Market, offering not only farm-fresh produce and specialty foods, but lobster artworks, Linda Bean’s Perfect Lobster Rolls, Orrs Island Chowder and much more. In a street-fair setting, those attending the free event will enjoy, a hilarious “lobstacle course” and buoy painting for the kids.
One highlight of Lobsterpalooza will be the Lobster Mac n Cheese contest, with judging taking place on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at the State of Maine Cheese Company. Cookbook authors and lobsterwomen, Linda and Martha Greenlaw will be joined by Yankee Magazine Food Editor, Amy Traverso and Portland Press Herald Food writer, Meredith Goad to judge a wide variety of Lobster Mac n Cheese casseroles. With Lobster Mac n Cheese trending high among chefs and lobster lovers these days, the Lobster Mac n Cheese contest promises to bring a variety of crustacean casseroles for judging. An amateur and professional category will be offered with first, second and third place prizes offered for each category. Click here and stroll down for full rules and to download a registration application.
Here's the complete schedule:
- $10 lobster specials at restaurants (lobsterpalooza signs in windows of participating restaurants).
- Get a Free Lobster with special purchases at participating stores (look for Lobsterpalooza signs).
- Haul traps with a Maine lobsterman & bring your lobster home
- 11:00 am -7:00 pm: Lobster & Olive Oil Tastings, Fiore Artisan Olive Oils & Vinegars, Rockland.
- Enter to win a Lobster Lover’s Getaway at participating businesses.
- Area inns offer Lobsterpalooza packages & lobster breakfasts to guests.
- Register for Lobster Mac n Cheese Contest at State of Maine Cheese Co, Rockport (through Sept 6).
Monday, September 9: Support Penobscot Bay lobstermen by buying locally...
12:00-5:00 pm: Crustacean Cash Mob at Ship to Shore, 7 Wharf St, Owls Head.
Tuesday, September 10: Support your local lobstermen and women..
12:00 – 5:00 pm: Crustacean Cash Mob at Jess’s Market, 118 South Main Street, Rockland.
Wednesday, September 11: K. Stephens, author of The Ghost Trap presents lobstering way of life...4:00-5:30 pm: K teams up w/Rockland Food Service for free beer tasting and presentation
Thursday, September 12:
Nappah Lobster & Wine Tour: All Aboard Trolley tour of 3 local wineries with Maine lobster tastings & lobster roll lunch. Pick up: 10:30 am/Rockland Chamber or 11:00 am/Camden Chamber. Reservations: 207-691-9300. $55 per person.
6:00-7:30pm: Wine Tasting & Ghost Traps at Breakwater Vineyards Tasting Room, Main St, Rockland: Enjoy an array of Breakwater wines while K. Stephens reads fictional excerpts from The Ghost Trap combined with video clips of 4th generation Maine lobsterman Ryan Post.
Friday, September 13: Support your local lobstermen and women..
12:00 -5:00 pm: Crustacean Cash Mob at Graffam Brothers, 211 Union Street, Rockport
Saturday, September 14: State of Maine Cheese Co, 461 Commercial St, Rockport
9:00-2:00 pm: Lobster Farmer’s Market: Fresh lobster, lobster art, farm-fresh produce. Children’s activities and “Lobstacle Course”. 2:00 pm: Lobster Mac n Cheese Contest judging at State of Maine Cheese Co.
Lobsterpalooza will feature a drawing for a Lobster Lover’s Getaway to the Historic Inns of Rockland to be enjoyed in June, 2014. Sign up to win at all participating businesses. No purchase is necessary and a winner will be drawn at the close of Lobsterpalooza week. Participating businesses will post Lobsterpalooza posters in the windows. Entry forms will be available at participating businesses and at Camden and Rockland Visitor Centers.
For complete details on Lobster and Stay packages from the Historic Inns of Rockland and other area businesses, go to http://www.lobsterfrommaine.com/lobsterpaloozacontests.aspx.
When you go:
From Boston, fly direct via Cape Air from Boston Logan to Knox County Regional Airport in Owls Head, just four miles from downtown Rockland. Alternatively, head north on 95N to 295N in Portland, then access Route 1 N in Brunswick into Rockland.