We would not, and could not, exist without our commitment to giving back to the people of Midcoast Maine. In the last decade the Festival has given over $850,000 in donations to local non-profits, school groups, scholarships, first responders, city projects, and more.
In the mid-1990s, then-Maine Lobster Festival President Ed Kolmosky gathered the set-up crew and quickly realized that the pavement at Rockland Harbor Park was in rough condition. Some tent stakes would not hold in the crumbling hard-top.
Komolsky called Rockland’s city manager and learned there was no money in the budget for repairs. His typical “can-do” response resulted in getting a local paving crew to the Festival grounds in a less-than-typical time frame. The Maine Lobster Festival took care of the paving for the city property at no cost to taxpayers.
A few years earlier, the city needed a new ambulance, but had no money to pay for it. Thanks to a donation from the Maine Lobster Festival, the City of Rockland bought a new ambulance. When a local developer set his sights on the land at the top of the hill above Rockland Harbor Park, long-time Maine Lobster Festival stalwart and retired teacher, Mildred Merrill, realized the last harbor view on Main Street was threatened. It took several years, but under Mildred’s steadfast leadership, the Maine Lobster Festival bought the land and donated it to the city with the understanding that the view would not be blocked.
These are three examples of the Maine Lobster Festival’s core mission – Giving back. Our strength is the more than 1,300 volunteers who help us each year.
“This combination is what makes the Maine Lobster Festival unique, and it’s what keeps us going all winter,” said Tim Carroll, Maine Lobster Festival past president.
Other community contributions and gifts worthy of note have gone to Oceanside High School for a new auditorium curtain, improvements to and furnishings for the teachers’ lounge, and additional educational support.
The festival also has supported other projects, including (but not limited to) the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce, Camden First Aid Association, Freedom Riders, Meals on Wheels, Area Interfaith Outreach Food Pantry, Rockland Fire Department, Bicycle Coalition of Maine, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine, Knox Interfaith Teen Safe Havens, Pope Memorial Humane Society of Knox County, Destination Imagination, Rockland District Nursing Association, Literacy Volunteers, and Rockland’s Festival of Lights Celebration. Our largest gift to date has been a donation to the Thomaston Fire Department for the purchase of a new utility truck. A portion of the gate admissions are distributed annually for worthwhile recreation projects throughout Knox County.
Thank you for supporting the Maine Lobster Festival, as it supports the Midcoast community.