ROCKLAND — The Maine Lobster Festival has been canceled for the second year in a row because of concerns the event could lead to the spread of COVID-19.

“I don’t think we could keep the volunteers and visitors safe. I don’t want us to become a superspreader,” said Celia Crie Knight, president of the festival’s board, which voted unanimously Tuesday night to cancel the 2021 event.

Crie Knight said she has spent a lot of sleepless nights contemplating the decision and wishes she had a crystal ball.

One concern is that if the festival moved ahead and an outbreak occurred, the financial hit could mean the end to future festivals, she said.

The festival needed to make a decision by the first week of April because of deposits that would not be returned for renting tents after that point.

While the festival has been canceled for the second consecutive year, board members expressed confidence that they could hold a “Super 75th” edition in August 2022.

Gov. Janet Mills announced on March 5 a significant easing of limits on crowd sizes both at indoor and outdoor venues, as well as visits by out-of-state travelers.

While the Lobster Festival has been canceled, other summer festivals are likely to be held.

The North Atlantic Blues Festival is tentatively scheduled for July 10-11, and the Maine Boat and Home Show is scheduled for Aug. 13-15, both at Harbor Park in Rockland.

No decision has been made on the Union Fair, which is scheduled for Aug. 21-28.

Crie Knight noted that the Lobster Festival is different than the Blues Fest or Boat show because the Lobster Festival operates a large restaurant under a tent.


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