YARMOUTH — At 10 a.m. on Saturday, Joe Carlino, wearing a bib, unabashedly dug into a lobster dinner, complete with coleslaw, butter and lemon.

As he methodically made his way through the claws, tail and legs, the Waltham, Massachusetts, resident explained he’s been threatening for years to run the Pat’s Pizza Clam Festival Classic 5-mile road race at the Yarmouth Clam Festival. This year he finally did. His reward was a steaming lobster.

“I need the protein,” Carlino said.

Carlino wasn’t the only one eating seafood for breakfast Saturday morning. The Memorial Green Tent was filled with festivalgoers gobbling up all of the event’s delectables, including the signature clams, both steamed and fried, red hot dogs and lime rickeys.

Joe Carlino of Waltham, Mass., chows down Saturday after running the 5-mile road race.

Joe Carlino of Waltham, Mass., chows down Saturday after running the 5-mile road race. Joel Page/Staff Photographer

Food is a big part of the annual three-day event, a homespun celebration of all things Yarmouth. The festival is expected to attract as many as 100,000 people – from Yarmouth, elsewhere in Maine and out of state – before it winds down at 4 p.m. Sunday with a performance by the Cumberland Community Band.

The festival, where usually dormant Maine accents get slathered on thick, includes arts, crafts, fireworks and acts.

But the main attraction is the food, served by legions of volunteers who raise money for the town’s organizations and sports teams.


On Saturday, Dan and Kathy Hoeper of Blue Grass, Iowa, were diving into a pint of fried clams at 10 a.m.

“It’s only because they were not ready at 9 a.m.,” Dan Hoeper said.

His wife, who was dipping into her first fried clams ever, pronounced them good.

“We should have gotten the big order,” her husband said.

A crowded tent of spectators watch the Maine State Clam Shucking Contest Saturday, July 16, 2016 at the Yarmouth Clam Festival in Yarmouth, Maine. (Photo by Joel Page/Staff Photographer)

Spectators watch the Maine State Clam Shucking Contest Saturday at the Yarmouth Clam Festival. Joel Page/Staff Photographer

Mike DiConzo of Dixfield and Teresa Bennett of Yarmouth huddled over a pile of fried clams.

“I would eat seaweed at 7 a.m. I love anything from the ocean,” said DiConzo.

The two had spent Friday in the Yarmouth Hockey Boosters booth, frying up sausage and steak subs in humid conditions with the temperature hovering in the 90s.

“It was hot,” DiConzo said.

Saturday they were just having fun.

Visitors to the Yarmouth Clam Festival check out food options outside the First Parish Church Saturday.

Visitors to the Yarmouth Clam Festival check out food options outside the First Parish Church on Saturday. Joel Page/Staff Photographer


Adam Mitchell of Yarmouth and Ryan Delaney of Boston – fresh over the finish line in the road challenge – had each downed a lobster roll.

“What else are we supposed to eat?” said Mitchell.

The two, both 34, are childhood friends who grew up in Yarmouth, and as far as they knew, both competed as babies in the festival diaper derby, where children up to a year old vie to be the first to toddle or crawl across the finish line.

Larry and Kathy Gray of Scarborough were sipping lime rickeys after his successful completion of the road race. He claimed title to the race’s slowest finisher.

“I finished last so no one else had to. I beat everyone who didn’t show up or dropped out,” he said.

The Prime family – including Barbara of Falmouth and her son Patrick, daughter-in-law April and granddaughter Jessica, all of Sidney – said they can’t resist the red hot dogs and steamers.

“Ever year we try to be here,” said April Prime.