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Summer of Lobster Love: Save Maine Lobstermen Update

Auburn Mayor Jason Levesque and MLA COO Amber-Jean Nickel. MLA photo.

Nearly 3,000 people turned out on May 6 to enjoy the first Auburn Lobster Festival. Auburn Mayor Jason Levesque told the Lewiston Sun Journal that, quirky as it may seem to hold a lobster festival in the inland city, it made sense because the lobster fishery supports the state’s entire economy and “lobster dollars” are spread far beyond coastal communities. The event, which featured a lobster bake prepared by the Auburn Exchange Club, several food trucks, local craft breweries, and several musical performances, filled Festival Plaza on what turned out to be a beautiful spring day.

The City of Auburn, which invited the Maine Lobstermen’s Association (MLA) to participate, also organized a special buoy painting contest, which raised $1,600 to be split between the MLA and one lucky winner drawn randomly from all the buoy entrants. In addition, several other participants donated funds to the MLA’s Save Maine Lobstermen campaign, including Geary Brewing Co. whose servers donated all their tips — nearly $500! One employee, Cathy Proctor, went so far as to donate part of her own paycheck to the cause! These acts of kindness are incredible.

Next year’s event will be even bigger and better, according to organizers, and the MLA looks forward to watching it grow into an annual tradition.

Band Together: A Celebration of Maine’s Lobstering Heritage. MLA photo.

On Sunday, May 7, the ballroom of the Elks Lodge in Portland was filled with music and laughter as the first “Band Together: A Celebration of Maine’s Lobstering Heritage” rocked the house to show support of #SaveMaineLobstermen. Music was provided by Mike Maurice, John Hughes Radio, one hundred thorns, Paddy Mills, and Holy Smoke. Comedians Connor McGrath and Adam Groppman kept the crowd laughing while Emily Dillon did a masterful job as master of ceremonies. Special appreciation to Cape Ann Lobstermen, a dealer in Gloucester, MA, who made a last-minute donation of lobster for the lobster rolls! It’s inspiring to see support growing for our efforts.

We were invited to set up a Save Maine Lobstermen information table at the 10th annual Claw Down Lobster Bite Competition on Thursday, June 15th. Claw Down, sponsored by the Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce, will feature local chefs competing for the best lobster bite. Tickets are available through the Chamber’s website.

Tickets are also on sale (while supplies last!) for the Save Maine Lobstermen fundraiser at the South Bristol Fisherman’s Co-Op on Saturday, June 17th. Tickets are $50 each for the lobster bake, a raffle and silent auction, which will feature dozens of items donated by local businesses. The folks at the Co-op say tickets are going fast so call Laura at 207-650-0960 to reserve yours.

Finally, details are still coming together for what promises to be the event of the summer! “Music, Masts, and Lobster Traps” will be held on Sunday, August 27th at Maine Maritime Museum in Bath. We expect more than 1,000 people to turn out for 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 4:00 pm, the Mallett Brothers Band will take the stage under a special tent to entertain the evening crowd. Tickets to the concert are being sold separately and are now available here.

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