About the Festival
It all began at a gathering of a group of citizens and summer folk in March 1947, where a discussion arose as to what could be done about reviving the summer activities that Camden had prior to the war years. It was decided that having a marine festival of some sort would be appropriate. Having it become an annual affair was intentional from the beginning.
It was suggested that it was time the Maine lobster and the Maine lobster fishermen came into their own. On that basis, the Camden-Rockport Lobster Festival was conceived as being the logical type of festival for this area.
Upon deciding to do this, a non-profit organization known as the Camden-Rockport Lobster Festival Inc. was formed. Its president was Earl Fuller of the Maine Coast Sea Food Corporation; the vice president, Clinton Lunt of the Camden Shipbuilding and Marine Railway Co.; the secretary, E. Hamilton Hall, editor of The Camden Herald and the treasurer and executive director, Henry S. Bickford.
An executive committee was formed to work with and advise the group from the very first festival and still continues today. The organization and success of each year's Maine Lobster Festival depends on the dedicated service of a Board of Directors, all volunteers from the local community, who work throughout the year to handle thousands of details. The Festival Corporation is a non-profit organization. Individuals can join as members, and a special effort has been made since 2005 to encourage this new level of membership. While nearly 1,000 area citizens volunteer some time during each year's Lobster Festival, it is the Board of Directors who makes it possible for the gates to open. No sooner have the gates closed on one year's celebration than the planning begins on the next year's event.
The Maine Lobster Festival is indeed one of Maine's premier summer events and is recognized nationally. During the past several years, scores of articles about the festival have appeared in international magazines and major metropolitan newspapers. It also has been featured on several international television programs, including a feature broadcast on the Food Network.
Contributing to the Community
The Maine Lobster Festival is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization. After serving the thousands of lobster lovers who descend upon Rockland, Maine for the Festival each year, our Board of Directors budgets the money needed to organize future Festivals and gives the rest of the proceeds back to groups, charities, and organizations throughout the Rockland area.
In recent years, the Maine Lobster Festival Board of Directors has given more than $500,000 to the local community through support for organizations such as Midcoast Regional Child Development Services, Trekkers and Meals on Wheels. In 2013, the Maine Lobster Festival presented a check for $50,000 to the Thomaston Fire Department to help them purchase a new utility truck. This gift allowed the Thomaston Fire Department to reach its $75,000 fundraising goal.