Wednesday July 31, 2013 | 11:53 AM

In less 15 minutes, at high noon, the 66th-Annual Maine Lobster Festival will open in Rockland. King Neptune and his court, accompanied by the 2012 Maine Sea Goddess named — wait for it — Alexandra Dienesch-Calamari (!), will raise the waterfront flag and the festival will be underway.

The crustacean craziness continues until Sunday, Aug. 4, giving anyone and everyone who attends the chance to get their fill of Maine's greatest contribution to the food world — fresh lobster.

Prices are pretty reasonable too, from $10 for a lobster roll to $25 for a Maine Shore Dinner with a 1 1/4 lb. lobster, steamers, corn, the full kit. See the complete list of food prices here.

One of the highlights of the event is the amateur cooking contest, which, in my first-ever visit to the festival, I will get to experience on Friday. The organizers have announced the five finalists:

Tyrrell Hunter (returning champion), Brunswick — Spectacular Seafood Cannelloni

John Ruppert, Brunswick — Maine Lobster Mac-N-Cheese

Adam Marcus, Owls Head — Lobster Etouffee

Justin Libby, Tenants Harbor — Buzzy Lobster Casserole

Gerard Huang, Jersey City, NJ — Chili Lobster

The judges for the contest are Lynn Archer of Rockland's The Brass Compass and Archer's on the Pier restaurants, my friend Allison Fishman Task, host of Yahoo!'s Blue Ribbon Hunter and Melanie Beckett from Maine Food and Lifestyle Magazine.

Should be a great time! I'll have a full report on the contest, the winners and recipes on Monday. And a whole bunch of photos of people looking goofy in lobster bibs.

About the Author

Meredith Goad has harvested oysters on the Chesapeake Bay, eaten reindeer in Finland and sipped hot chai in the Himalayas. She writes the weekly Soup to Nuts column and enjoys a good cocktail.

Meredith can be contacted at 791-6332 or
On Twitter: @meredithgoad

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