For the last eight years, Brian Messing has worn the crown and white beard as the iconic Maine Lobster Festival’s King Neptune. And for 15 years before that, he played the dastardly pirate character of Blackbeard. This year, he passes the crown to his Masonic Lodge Brother Scott Archer.

“I got involved in the Festival right off the bat as the character Blackbeard,” Messing said. “I like doing things that are different and I’m really outgoing in that way. And as someone new to the area at that time, I thought it would be a great way to meet people.”

While he has a little backstage experience, the role came naturally to him each summer. “You don’t want someone in that role for just a year,” he said. “You want someone who is willing to do this year after year. And that’s why I took that role.”

“My whole focus is on the kids,” he added. “I love the kids. Switching over to the King is a little different. While Blackbeard and King Neptune are both the faces of the Festival, King Neptune gets all of the press. So, in this role, I wanted visitors to feel comfortable and to feel connected. As I have traveled extensively to a whole slew of countries and have been a resident of 17 states, I can instantly connect to where someone is from by talking to them.”  

Before retiring, Messing searched for the last three years to find the best replacement for King Neptune. He decided to pass the mantle to Archer.

“I was born in Rockland and grew up going to the Maine Lobster Festival every year,” Archer said. “I do love the Festival and the area. I shadowed Brian last year and I have a pretty good idea of what is expected of me.”

Archer is also a long-time volunteer of the Festival, giving his time for more than 20 years. “I just love being part of the experience and helping to make it an enjoyable experience for those who attend,” he said. “That’s very important to me.”

Archer said he’s looking forward to his court, who will join him as he walks around the Festival, rides in the Big Parade, and participates in this year’s Coronation.

Kids, teens and young adults are encouraged to apply to join King Neptune’s Court to help him and Blackbeard greet guests and participate in events during the Festival. Fun opportunities include riding a Coast Guard ship, being on stage during the Coronation, and being on a float in the Big Parade!

The Maine Lobster Festival is just around the corner, Aug. 2-6, 2023 with FREE admission! Find out what exciting events and activities are happening every day by visiting