When thousands of visitors plan to attend an event as special as the 69th annual Maine Lobster Festival in Midcoast Maine on Aug. 3-7, 2016, they don’t realize that it takes over 1,100 volunteers to make this celebration run smoothly.

The five-day festival serves 20,000 pounds of lobster (with 1,700 pounds of butter) and features a parade, entertainment, cooking contests, artists, crafters and exhibits.

After all these years, the requirements and the schedule of what has to be done has been well coordinated, but it takes local and summer residents as well as those who purposely vacation at that time from all over the country to help out by working at least one four-hour shift in one of the areas. 

Incentives include free admission for volunteers on the day they work as well as receiving the highly-coveted Maine Lobster Festival Volunteer T-Shirt that is exclusive and cannot be purchased.

Wouldn’t you like to do a service to the Rockland community, which benefits because all proceeds raised by this non-profit organization are given directly back to the area communities in the form of grants, donations, gifts, and scholarships? In the past, festival contributions have been used to help heat homes and feed children who participate in Summer Enrichment Programs. In 2008, a new lobster cooker was built with engraved bricks purchased by supporters. 

Just to start up, the festival requires about $150,000 in reserve each year. In addition, for 11 months of the year, the board of directors stays busy planning for the upcoming event. For the three weeks prior to the festival, some of the volunteers start to prepare the grounds and set up tents.

There is quite a variety of chores to choose from, so surely you could find something you would enjoy doing as an appreciated volunteer. Would you rather do the actual cooking and/or serving the lobsters or the “All You Can Eat” pancake breakfast, take tickets, supervise activities in the Children’s Tent, be part of the grounds crew, move tables and chairs, handle and supervise the Touch Tank with marine life, work in the souvenir tent selling merchandise, prepare the stage for the various entertainment acts, or be a part of the tear-down crew?  

The Maine Lobster Festival and the Rockland community need you and your energy to help make this event as wonderful and popular as it has always been. Find out how to volunteer today.