The Grand Marshal duties for this year’s Big Parade will be shared by two deserving local volunteers who have longstanding ties to the Maine Lobster Festival — Sharon Lombardo and Bob Oxton.
Truly exemplifying the meaning of service, Sharon has served in a multitude of roles for the Festival including the Benefactions Committee, the Nominating Committee and the Executive Board, becoming an MLF director in 1986. Sharon also served on the Coronation Committee from 1986 to 1999 and again from 2004 to 2018, spending many years as co-chair, then chair, of that committee before being voted honorary director in 2022.
Other assignments found Sharon working behind the scenes in finance, strategic planning, survey, bylaws, technology, and with scholarships, volunteers, Steins & Vines, and the front gate. “I’ve worked on every part of the grounds — except the lobster cooker — at one time or another through the years, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it,” she said. Sharon was instrumental in getting the Navy to send ships to the Festival, and was the Festival liaison to the Navy from 1998 to 2018.
No task, big or small, was an obstacle for Sharon. She has delivered posters to every business from Primo to Walmart for many years. She has chaperoned the Sea Goddess and Crown Princess to the Big E (Eastern states Exposition) in Springfield, Mass., for more than 20 years. In 1986, her first year as a director, she went door to door to hundreds of local businesses, collecting $16,000 worth of small contributions.
Bob Oxton, Sharon’s brother and a co-leader in many of the above-mentioned roles, has worked on the Festival grounds every summer for the last 40 years. He has served as safety officer for many years, held the role of vice president, led sponsorships and chaperoned the Sea Goddess and Crown Princess.
Like Sharon, Bob puts his efforts wherever they are needed, such as providing additional power to the Festival with his generator, helping to make benches for the food tent, doing the pickup and return from Owls Head Transportation Museum, and escorting the Festival’s notable lobster mascot, Rocky, all over New England.
Get a great spot and wave to Grand Marshals Sharon Lombardo and Bob Oxton when this year’s Big Parade kicks off at 10 a.m. Aug. 5, 2023 on Main Street in Rockland. The theme will be “The Spirit of ‘76.”