HISTORIC INNS OF ROCKLAND JOIN MAINE LOBSTER PROMOTION COUNCIL & PENOBSCOT BAY REGIONAL CHAMBER TO CELEBRATE LOBSTER HARVEST WITH LOBSTERPALOOZA
Mark August 26-31 on the calendar to celebrate all things lobster in Rockland & Camden
Rockland, ME – Cheryl Michaelsen, owner of the Berry Manor Inn in Rockland, ME, couldn’t stand to sit by and watch on the sidelines as lobstermen and women in this Midcoast, Maine town caught near record lobster hauls while traditional Canadian markets rejected them. The result, as we all know, has meant prices have dropped while lobster remains in abundance this summer. Michaelsen turned to her fellow colleagues at the Historic Inns of Rockland and said “Let’s turn lobsters into Lobsteraid!” Lobsterpalooza was the brainstorm of the four progressive Historic Inns of Rockland who then enlisted support from the Maine Lobster Promotion Council and the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce to raise enthusiasm for eating lobster and celebrating an abundant supply in the Midcoast this summer. Lobsterpalooza is a weeklong celebration of lobster taking place August 26-31 in Rockland, Camden and surrounding towns where businesses celebrate the lobster harvest with everything from a crustacean cash mob to featured specials, events and more. Lobsterpalooza is just one of the many events happening during the Maine Lobster Lovers Celebration, a promotion created by the Maine Lobster Promotion Council.
“It makes sense that we’d hold Lobsterpalooza in Rockland and Camden,” said Michaelsen, “After all, we are the self-proclaimed lobster capital of the universe! This is our way of reminding residents and travelers alike how lucky we are to enjoy the abundant supply of lobster here this summer,” finished Michaelsen.
To date nearly 40 restaurants, spas and retail stores have signed on to feature lobster for the Lobsterpalooza week with everything from a free lobster with special spa treatments at spas to a lobster off the boat from Captain Jack’s Lobster Adventures. The four Historic Inns of Rockland will feature lobster on the breakfast menu during Lobsterpalooza week, while offering specially discounted tickets for lobster adventures. A number of restaurants including Café Miranda, Sweets and Meats Market and In Good Company, Bricks Restaurant, Amalfi by the Water and many additional restaurants will feature new lobster entrees on the menu along with old favorites. Additionally, Crustacean Cash Mobs will be held at Jess’s Market on Tuesday, August 28th andShip to Shore Lobster Company in Owl’s Head on Thursday, , August 30th .. Cash mobs are the perfect way to support local, independent businesses, and in this case local fishermen. Simply plan to buy lobster on August 28th from Jess’s Market and August 30th from Owl’s Head’s Ship to Shore Lobster Co.. Additionally, Cellardoor Winery will feature a Lobster Lover’s cooking class on August 31 and All Aboard Trolley Company will offer a special “Nap-AH and Lob-STAH” Wine tour on Monday, August 27th .
Lobsterpalooza will feature a drawing for a Lobster Lover’s Getaway to be enjoyed in June, 2013. Sign up to win at all participating businesses.
No purchase is necessary and a winner will be drawn at the close of Lobsterpalooza week. The lucky winner will receive a grand prize June 2013 Lobster Lover’s Getaway including:
· Two nights accommodations at a choice of four Historic Inns of Rockland, sometime in June 2013
· Breakfast each morning.
· Two Got Lobster T-shirts, lobster hats and chocolate lobsters
· Tour of Ship to Shore Lobster Company pound and lobster dinner for two on the docks
· $50 gift certificate to Café Miranda for Lobster Mac n Cheese or choice of other lobster entrée
· Two tickets for Captain Jack’s Lobster Adventure
· A lobster lovers gift basket filled with offers and gift certificates from many other Rockland businesses (including Archers on the Pier, Waterworks Restaurant, Sweets and Meats, Clan MacLaren)
Participating businesses will post Lobsterpalooza posters in the windows. Entry forms will be available at participating businesses and at Camden and Rockland visitor centers.
Here’s the full line up of the events celebrating lobster during Lobsterpalooza:
August 27: All Aboard Trolley Nap-AH and LOB-Stah Winery Tour – enjoy wine and lobster tastings.
August 28: All day: Jess’s Market Cash Mob, Rockland– Plan to buy local to support local fishermen
August 28: 2-3pm: Between Fact and Fiction: The Subculture of Maine Lobstermen, Breakwater Room at the Maine Lighthouse Museum: K. Stephens, a Midcoast author of The Ghost Trap will host a presentation/fiction reading about Maine's lobstermen. The Ghost Trap (Leapfrog Press, 2009) follows the haunting story of Jamie Eugley, a young lobsterman struggling with the grinding responsibilities of a head-injured fiancée and mounting trap wars in a fictional setting based around Tenants Harbor, Spruce Head, Port Cyde and Friendship.
August 30: Ship to Shore Lobster Cash Mob, Owl’s Head – Plan to enjoy lobster today from this local lobster pound
August 31: Oceanside Mariner Home Opener Lobster Industry Recognition at Half Time
Lobster-Lovers Cooking Class at Cellardoor Winery (advanced reservations required)
First of all, you have to be ready to depart on a 9:30 am ferry out of Rockland, for a scheduled 1 pm presentation and book signing. And you can't leave until the 3:30 pm boat departs. So here we are on one spectacularly blue sunny Saturday, for basically an 8-hour stretch. So, this is a commitment. We're in this for the long haul today.
Capt. Ryan Post is with me, along with his 13-year-old nephew Drew Philip, who offered to be our book and DVD pack horse and schlep everything onto the ferry. Drew's psyched because we put him in our press release picture and now he's our official groupie. All of Ryan's buddies are currently heading out to OxFest, a day-long festival of bands. He'd been hanging out with Geno, his sternman the night before and I'm probably guessing that he'd rather be on his way to Wiscasset with his friends at the moment than on our way to North Haven to work all day.
"Kind of a bus man's holiday for you," I said, as we stared over the white metal rail of the ferry into the churning deep blue water below. "Here it is your day off and you're back on the water."
"Nah," he scoffed. "There's no place I'd rather be than on the water."
An hour later, coming into the Fox Island Thoroughfare between Vinalhaven and North Haven, it strikes me how many grand houses and mansions are thisclose to the water's edge. Imagine. Spending your summer on this island, the channel right outside your bedroom window. It all seems like out of a sensitive woman's novel, this splendor and gentle living. But, Ryan grew up on an island. You'd better know how to be alone with yourself for long stretches or time without going stir crazy.
Waterman's Community Center welcomes us and we set down all of our gear. After some technical fiddling around with our presentation (great thanks go to Lana and Rachael for their help), we head out for a quick lunch. Soon, it was time for our presentation. The only problem? It's a sunny Saturday on the island. Would you rather be on the beach or in a darkened theater?
Instead of 40-50 people like we expected, about 15 showed up. (Sigh. Welcome to the typical book signing experience. Even Linda Greenlaw, whom I'd seen a week earlier at her book signing had about 20 or so people show up on a sunny day.) Still, as you can see from the quick clip below (Drew needs to be a little more steady on the camera :), we threw out an entertaining presentation about how the fictional subculture in my novel so closely resembles the one in which Ryan works and lives daily, as evidenced in Maine Buggin, his day-in-the-life DVD.
The thing is, it's all about the experience, not how many books/DVDs you sell. That's why writers and lobstermen are so similar--you ain't in this for the money, honey, you do it because it's your life. And honestly, with a couple of ferry cocktails on the way back home with the sun bouncing off the water, the comfortable hum of the ferry engines rumbling, and knowing you put in a good day--could there be anything better?
Columns and news about the subculture of Maine lobstering.