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Summer Events Keep Rolling Along for #SaveMaineLobstermen

If there is one consistent theme to this summer’s Save Maine Lobstermen fundraisers it is joyous fun in miserable weather!

Our latest “All Hands on Deck” fundraiser took place on Sunday, July 16 in a historic barn on a hill overlooking East Penobscot Bay, or at least that’s what we were told. The thick fog and grey skies that surrounded Edgewood Farm in Deer Isle made it tough to enjoy the view outside, but the eclectic treasures that filled the barn’s interior provided plenty to see!

L to R: MLA board member John Williams, and Janet & Nathan Jones in Deer Isle, July 16th. MLA photo.

Organized by Maine Lobstermen's Association (MLA) board member, John Williams and his wife Judy, the event featured a free community lunch of lobster rolls, potato chips, cole slaw — and homemade whoopie pies! Approximately 100 community members and summer visitors turned out to hear from MLA Board president Kristan Porter and to learn more about MLA’s recent Appeals Court victory and ongoing efforts to protect Maine’s lobstering heritage. They also enjoyed musical performances by several local bands, made up of local lobstermen and fishing families, who volunteered their time to the cause. We’d like to thank John and Judy, Edgewood Farm owners Loring and Claudette Kydd, and everyone who volunteered time to play in one of the bands or to help prepare food.

When MLA launched its Save Maine Lobstermen campaign in November 2021, we set a goal to raise $10 million in three years. We knew that wouldn’t be easy, but what we didn’t know was how much fun we would have trying to reach that goal. It was heartwarming to hear from community members who stopped to thank MLA staff for the work we have put into the effort that has helped to clear at least some of the dark cloud that has been hanging over the heads of hardworking fishing families for several years now.

Women on the Water organizers (L to R) Jess Yeomans, Anna Conathan, and Robin Lapoint were all smiles at the first Women on the Water event. J. Yeomans photo.

Jess Yoemans, Anna Conathan, and Robin Lapoint organized “Women on the Water” event at Geary’s Beer Garden in Portland on July 15. This first annual event celebrated women who create art, crafts and food, and who have been inspired by their lives on the water. The sun came out for the afternoon and people were happy to peruse (and purchase) products in order to raise funds for the MLCA. Many attendees were interested to learn about the #SaveMaineLobstermen campaign and plans are being laid for next year’s event. Many thanks to DoryWoman Rowing, Whale & Anchor, in-bloom Illustrations, Slack Tide Maine, Salt & Sap, Metta Maine, Plot Twist Pretzels, Lady Shuckers, Geary Brewing Co., and 1820 Brewing Co. for supporting our lobstermen!

I stopped at the Brooksville Free Public Library last month to check out the Peninsula Lobstering Exhibit. Artist Sarah Baskin organized the art exhibit after speaking with local lobstermen about the unprecedented challenges they have faced. The show, which ran through July 20, featured 40 artists who spend all or part of their year on the Blue Hill Peninsula. Fifty percent of all sales from the exhibit will be donated to our non-profit partner organization, Maine Lobstermen’s Community Alliance, which works closely with the MLA to protect a sustainable lobster resource and the fishermen and communities that depend on it. We are extremely grateful to all the artists who participated. If you missed the show but still want to check out the artwork, visit peninsula_lobstering_exhibit on Instagram or Sarah Baskin Art on Facebook.

Party like a LobStar at Milbridge Days! MLA photo.

Next up, we’re hitting the road again for Milbridge Days on Saturday, July 29th. It’s the 175th birthday celebration for the Town of Milbridge and this year’s festival’s theme is “Party like a LobStar!” to honor the town’s lobster fishing heritage. The festival starts July 27 and runs through July 30th and features lots of activities including a grand parade and a lobster bake at the fire station. Look for us on Main Street! For more information and lots of great photos, check out their Facebook page!

We’ll also be at the 46th annual Machias Wild Blueberry Festival which runs August 18-20. They say blueberries put Machias on the map, but nothing goes better with a slice of blueberry pie than fresh lobster! MLA will be set up in the County Courthouse lot on Saturday, August 19th selling gear, talking to folks, and happily accepting donations to our Save Maine Lobstermen campaign. Come say hi and visit machiasblueberry.com for more information on that festival.

One final note, tickets are selling fast for what promises to be the party of the summer on Sunday, August 27th at Maine Maritime Museum in Bath. We’re anticipating more than 1,000 people to turn out for “Music, Masts & Lobster Traps,” a daylong celebration of Maine’s lobstering heritage. Demonstrations, displays, and of course lobster will be available during the day with paid admission to the Museum (MLA members with proof of membership get in free!). At 3pm, the gate will open for a concert event featuring Maine’s own Mallett Brothers Band. Tickets to the concert are sold separately from admittance to the museum and can be purchased online here and you can follow the facebook page as well!

All funds raised at this event will benefit the Maine Lobstermen’s Community Alliance, which, with support from MLA, is working to ensure a vibrant future for Maine’s fishing families and the communities in which they live and work.

This celebration is being sponsored by Rugged Seas, First National Bank, First Federal Savings, Bell Power Systems, XTRATUF, Mere Point Oyster Company, Mast Landing Brewing Co., Guy Cotten, Brooks Trap Mill, Pine State Trading.

SEE YOU THERE!

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