Best Comedy Festival: Nantucket Comedy Festival
While it may not be a seafood festival, it is a significant event. Whether you attend or donate to the cause, know it will be a worthwhile endeavor. Plus, the island is home to plenty of fresh seafood to go around after you’ve “Laugh[ed] your ACK off!”
The Nantucket Comedy Festival began in 2007 when professional stand-up comic, Kevin Flynn learned of the horrific rash of teen suicides that were occurring on the island. Understanding the healing power of laughter, he decided to make a difference by applying his craft to those who need it most.
Flynn reached out to a group of nationally recognized comics and requested they join him in donating their time and talent to support a comedy festival during the summer. It was a hit, and with its success, the group went on to launch Stand-Up & Learn workshops for island youth.
This year’s four-day festival will be headlined by two well-known funny men, Steven Wright and Ron White. Performances include kids from the island program, local comedians, and a women’s only, “Lunch & Laugh” gathering at the White Elephant ballroom.
To get into the mood and turn that frown into a smile, visit, nantucketcomedyfestival.org, and become part of the solution. The festival runs, July 11–14.
Best Clam Festival: Yarmouth Clam Festival Yarmouth, Maine
You’ve got to hand it to Mainer’s as they appear to corner the market when it comes to seafood festivals, and this one has been going for 54 years. Not far from wherever you call home, the easy ride up to Yarmouth will be worth the trip to enjoy the laid-back lifestyle found in this coastal town.
An event unlike others, organizers are planning a parade, crafts and art show, the State of Maine’s clam shucking contest,
musical acts, a firefighters muster—plus great food for the three-day weekend.
With volunteers expected to serve more than 6000 pounds of clams, 6000 lobster rolls, 2500 pancake breakfasts, 2000 shore dinners, 400 pies and 6000 strawberry shortcakes; all followed by around 13,500 Lime Rickeys (remember those?), you won’t have to stray further than the event grounds for home-town fun and hospitality.
Scheduled for July 20–22, day-trippers will appreciate that the excursion can be accomplished in a day, while those planning for a weekend will find plenty of suitable accommodations nearby.
For more information visit, clamfestival.com.
Longest running, and
Best Lobster Festival: Maine
Lobster Festival, Rockport
For over seven decades, the Maine Lobster Festival launched in March of 1947 to create buzz and bring back tourism after the war; so, began the Camden-Rockport event.
During the early years, organizers didn’t know much about running this type of event so when they advertised “All the lobster you can eat for $1”, the initial event went bust, and they lost interest. Meanwhile, the Rockland Junior Chamber of Commerce garnered support and kicked off the second event in 1948. With the induction of a parade, a coronation of Miss Maine Seafood, a concert, and of course delicious Maine Lobster, the party drew praise and was followed by success.
As the event grew in popularity, the crowds and length of the festival did also. With guests arriving from almost 80 countries and citizens from as far away as Hawaii, it seemed that assurance came easy.
In an attempt to keep the festival interesting, in the late 70’s–80’s, carnival rides, games, and side-show infiltrated the grounds, only to be followed by a few years of poor weather and rising costs. In the early part of 1990, it was announced that the festival was to be canceled. But, with swift reaction, the community rallied and began to revitalize the event.
Today, the Maine Lobster Festival is one of states premier events and continues to draw guests from all points of the world. Its popularity has the brought the attention of nearly every news outlet in addition
to being recognized as one
to the Top 100 Events in
Today the organization is a significant philanthropic community benefactor to a long list of well-deserving groups; with about a half-million dollars poured into causes, it has made strides to improve the quality of life for local town’s people.
Through the efforts of thousands of volunteers, the success of the event continues to grow and builds community spirit and pride.
The 71st Maine Lobster Festival kicks off at noon on Wednesday, August 1, and offers up a boat-load of excitement and
food through Sunday, August 5.
Visit mainelobsterfestival.com for more information.
The Best Chowder Cook-off:
The Chowdafest in Westport Connecticut
The last thing we want to do is raise the ire of the thousands of chefs and the hundreds of chowder festivals that take place throughout the northeast. Practically, every seaside location has an event that touts what they believe to be the best, clam, quahog, corn, bisque or soup. Thick, thin, with cream or broth, Manhattan to Rhode Island style, each competes for the ranking as “the best” but what’s important to recognize is that they all clear the path to the New England Chowdafest in Westport, Connecticut.
Claiming to be the number one Chowder Event in New England, this exceedingly popular seaside contest should bring out the competitiveness of all other festivals—if, for nothing else, it could end up becoming a teachable moment.
The event held at Sherwood Island Park—along the waterfront—offers an unlimited sampling of chowder from more than forty award-winning chefs and restaurants from every part of New England. Categories include; best chowder, soup, and bisque. From this lineup, there are five categories the hungry public judge: Classic New England Clam Chowder, Traditional Chowders, (Manhattan & Rhode Island)—we told you so—Creative Chowder, Soup/Bisque, and new for this year, Vegetarian recipes.
And, as every late-night infomercial will tell you; there’s even more! Included is an Italian-themed section, “Ciao Dafest” where attendees will sample artisan bread dipped in premium sauces, along with mixed salads. For those with the largest of appetites, the Chowdafest has an area known as Sweet Treats where guests will find fresh farm milk, ice cream, cookies, pies, yogurt, and cheeses.
This year’s event will be held Sunday, September 30, with gates opening at 11:00 a.m. and will conclude at 3:00 p.m. Sherwood Island Park is a manageable ride along Interstate 95 to exit 18. Parking is free, and tickets are reasonably priced at $20.00 for adults and kids ages six through twelve only $5.00—what a deal.
For more details about this event go to, chowdafest.org. H
Sign up for a free digital subscription.