Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland. Staff file photo

ROCKLAND — There will be no admission charge to the 2022 Maine Lobster Festival.

The organizers of the community’s largest festival have also decided to drop the carnival.

“We are replacing it permanently with other greener and different kid-related things. We are revamping the layout as well,” Festival Board President Celia Crie Knight confirmed Wednesday.

“As a treat for our 75th anniversary and all we have been through the last two years, we want everyone to come and enjoy it at no cost,” she said.

The festival has been canceled the past two summers because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s event will be held Wednesday, Aug. 3, through Sunday, Aug. 7, at Rockland’s Harbor Park, Buoy Park, and Mildred Merrill Park.

There will be two nights of fireworks over the harbor.


CedarWorks is donating two industrial playsets. There will be a rock-climbing set, a petting zoo, pony rides, an arcade for the teens and tweens, bounce houses, and plenty of games of chance, Knight said. Additionally, all the other things like the children’s tent, pirate ship and pirates will be at the festival. The traditional children challenges such as the crate race will also be held.

As for the greener options, there will be water bottle-filling stations, no straws, and recycling of lobster bodies.

The Rockland Harbor Management Commission met Tuesday night to review the application from the festival. The commission voted unanimously to recommend that the City Council allow use of the waterfront parks but also voted unanimously to reject the festival’s request to waive fees to use the properties.

The festival estimates 60,000 people will attend the five-day event.

The City Council stopped waiving fees for the festival’s use of the parks in 2014, saying the city was allowing one organization to have sole rights to the valuable property during the summer. The festival argued in past years that it is run by volunteers, is a nonprofit organization, and returns its revenues to the communities for things such as paving the park’s parking areas, paying for an ambulance, and providing the money for the city to acquire Mildred Merrill Park.

At the Harbor Management Commission meeting, the board also heard a request by WERU to have a Reggae Festival at Harbor Park in July. The radio station is a noncommercial station run by volunteers.

WERU representatives wanted to hold the music festival on July 30, but the commission noted that could conflict with the Lobster Festival set-up schedule. The radio station representatives said Saturday, July 23, would be a good second option.

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