For the past seven decades, the Maine Lobster Festival’s Sea Goddess Ambassador program has given a young woman the opportunity to grow in a public role that positively represents the hard-working efforts of the lobster industry, the Maine Lobster Festival, and the state of Maine.
The program has been steeped in the rich history and conventions of its time. But with the pandemic interrupting the Festival in recent years and fewer applicants to be the Sea Goddess in recent years, the Festival committee decided to survey the local community and students to find out what they want this competition to be moving forward.
From Sea Goddess to Delegate
Based on that feedback, the Festival is proud to make a big change in 2023:
Historically known as the “Sea Goddess Coronation,” this summer’s event will now open participation to any Maine resident ages 16 to 22. The new title will be “Maine Lobster Festival Delegate,” and applicants can include anyone who is passionate about being an advocate for Maine’s lobster industry, regardless of gender.
Being open to new experiences is exactly what the Festival encourages, as summed up perfectly by 2021/22 Maine Sea Goddess Chloe Blake. “[It] really helps you with public speaking skills, and your ability to answer questions on the spot is a great skill to have for job interviews,” she said. “It helps if you are an extrovert, but even if you’re introverted, be comfortable with being open to new experiences and learning new things.”
Other Program Changes
The committee is only accepting the first 25 applicants on a first-come, first-served basis. The deadline to apply is June 30.
In addition to eliminating the gender requirement, the age range has been widened to allow more students and young adults to enter. The Festival has also increased cash prizes ($2,000 for the winner) while taking away the mandatory sponsorship requirements, which opens the playing field to many more applicants.
Participants will get to learn about the local community and Maine’s lobster industry, participate in a letter-writing campaign to support the lobster industry, volunteer in the community, participate in public speaking, and attend social media workshops.
At the Delegate Banquet on July 28, participants will each have a turn to speak with a panel of judges to showcase their knowledge of Maine’s lobster industry and offer ideas to support the industry amid the current challenges it faces. Then, on the Festival’s opening night Aug. 2, the Maine Lobster Festival Delegate will be chosen along with a runner-up and Miss/Mr. Congeniality. The winner will represent the Maine Lobster industry throughout the year at various festivals and events.
All in all, it’s a tremendous opportunity for a young person to gain the kind of business leadership skills it often takes people years in college or in their professional life to attain. The role of the Maine Lobster Festival Delegate is ideal for a particular young person who cares about his or her heritage and community, is enthusiastic to be a voice in the media, and can articulate those thoughts to the thousands of people who visit the Festival each year nationwide.
Please encourage the young people you know in Maine to apply by June 30, 2023. Get details about the rules, requirements and cash prizes. Stay tuned to find out who will be our next Maine Lobster Festival Delegate! For more information about this year’s Festival, visit: www.mainelobsterfestival.com.