The Diaper Derby returns to the Yarmouth Clam Festival July 17. Prizes for first- and second-place winners will be awarded in three divisions. File

When the Yarmouth Clam Festival returns next month for the first time in three years, it will feature more free, family-friendly activities, spaced-out events and hand-washing stations.

Due to COVID precautions, the festival was last held in 2019, when a “family care station” was introduced with a private area for nursing mothers, changing tables, rocking chairs and a quiet space for families to retreat to if needed. Interim Festival Director Chelsie DiConzo said the feedback was so positive the care station will be expanded this year.

Another improvement to this year’s festival July 15-17 is a larger family area on the library lawn, according to DiConzo, with face painting, hula hooping, and hands-on demonstrations like art classes.

Hand washing stations will be located throughout the festival area and events will be more spaced out than usual after festival organizers and the Yarmouth Community Coronavirus Task Force brainstormed on how to make the event safer.

More handicapped parking areas will be available as well.

About 100,000 attendees are anticipated, Diconzo said, which is down from the average of 120,000 people, but volunteers expect some people still won’t be comfortable coming due to COVID. DiConzo said crowd attendance is always difficult to estimate because of uncertainty about the weather that weekend.


Sponsors are still being sought, specifically for a live music performance Friday evening after the parade and for the Royal River Rock Off performance Saturday evening. More information is at

“Having a two-year hiatus has really affected our nonprofits in town because a lot of these groups rely solely on the Clam Festival for all their fundraising. We’re hoping to showcase to businesses and attendees that this festival is our village festival, our village tradition,” DiConzo said. “With COVID wreaking havoc on everything, we really want to set our nonprofits up to make the most impact.”

Organizations that benefit from the festival include Yarmouth Scouts, Royal River Chorus and the Yarmouth Lions Club. The festival brings in about $200,000 for nonprofits and civic organizations, according to DiConzo.

The Scouts often use the money raised at the festival to subsidize each Scout’s expense on high adventure trips, Troop 35 Scoutmaster Joan Dollarhite told The Forecaster in a previous story. Past festivals allowed the Scouts to build a reserve fund, which helped them get through the two-year hiatus, she said.

Troop 35 is excited to be back at the festival, not only for fundraising purposes but to interact with the community again, Dollarhite said.

The Clam Festival is July 15-17 on Main Street in Yarmouth. Information about the festival, including events and how to get there, can be found at

Comments are not available on this story.