Parade-goers cheer as the Yarmouth Clam Festival parade starts last year. This year’s Clam Festival will be held July 21-23. Brianna Soukup / Portland Press Herald

The Yarmouth Clam Festival is expected to draw close to 120,000 visitors to town over three days, July 21-23.

That crowd is more than 14 times the population of Yarmouth, volunteer Tim Gatz said, and that’s great news for one of Maine’s most popular and lasting summertime events.

A tradition since 1965, the Clam Festival missed two years because of the pandemic but returned last year with some precautions in place. This year, festival staff is working to return it to its full, popular glory.

Festival mascot Steamer the Clam high-fives parade-goers during the 2022 festival parade. Brianna Soukup / Portland Press Herald

“Planning is fast and furious,” Gatz said. “We made a concerted effort to bring back and bring in the most famous, relatable and traditional events.”

Fans of the festival can expect favorites like the clam-shucking contest, live music, a crafts show and the People’s Muster, a high-spirited competition in the style of an old firefighter’s muster, along with plenty of sightings of the festival’s mascot, Steamer the Clam.

Arguably the most highly anticipated event, however, is the Friday night Clam Festival Parade, usually more than one hour long.


“As much as I’d like to say everyone has a different favorite event, the one thing I hear about the most is the parade,” Gatz said.

This year’s parade theme is “People In Your Neighborhood,” celebrating special people, businesses, organizations and activities in Yarmouth.

While the parade still may not be quite as big as pre-pandemic parades, Gatz told The Forecaster that it will still be “spectacular.”

Yarmouth native Michael Schumacher says he wouldn’t miss it.

“For me, it’s like a ginormous class reunion,” Schumacher said, adding that he can’t walk more than 100 feet at parade time without running into someone he knows from school.

“Some of my fondest memories are of the parade,” he said.


Some parade-watchers have already staked out their spots along the route, setting up lawn chairs downtown weeks ahead of the event.

“My understanding is that when you see them out there, people know what they’re for and they leave them alone,” Gatz said.

There’s no admission charge for the festival, but proceeds from parking and food vendors will go to a variety of local nonprofits and civic organizations, including the Yarmouth Boy Scouts and Lions Club. Usually, the festival raises about $200,000 for the groups.

“We’d love to see as many people there as we possibly can, having fun and supporting nonprofits,” Gatz said.

For a schedule of events, including the concert lineup, go to

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