YARMOUTH – On July 20, 21 and 22, this normally quiet town will swell to 15 times its size as nearly 120,000 visitors flock to the 42nd Annual Yarmouth Clam Festival. One of Maine’s most popular summer events, this year’s festival will deliver expanded versions of newer events, such as It’s Clamtastic!
There will also be the events regular festivalgoers have come to expect: the Friday night parade, Saturday night fireworks, clam shucking contests, the firefighters muster, performances by noted musicians and entertainers and, of course, lots and lots of clams.
“Last year, several new events within the festival were introduced, such as the duck boat tours, the antique show and sale and It’s Clamtastic! This year, those offerings have been slightly expanded and we enthusiastically introduce two new venues -Green Spaces and Serendipity Stage – and welcome Wheel of Fortune,” said new festival director Holly Guy.
Highlights of this year’s festival include:
“The Best of TV”: The Friday evening parade (6 p.m. on Main Street) could get zany with local businesses and neighborhood groups marching through town with floats that capture the essence of this year’s TV theme.
Wheel of Fortune’s Wheelmobile: The show’s promotional vehicle will be at the festival in search of game players who are energetic, enthusiastic and fun. Fans can fill out an application, have his or her name drawn at random to play a simulated version of the game onstage, win unique prizes and be evaluated as a potential contestant for the broadcast version of the show. This will take place from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday at the North Yarmouth Academy tent.
Under the tent at NYA, It’s Clamtastic! will be back from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 19, for its second year. For a $10 fee, people can sample and judge a variety of seafood-based delicacies from more area restaurants than last year.
Serendipity stage: This is a new venue for amateur performers to showcase their talents Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons on the First Parish Church lawn.
Green spaces: Local students and businesses will present an educational exhibit, featuring environmentally conscience, clean and alternative energy displays, behind the library.
Antique show and sale: This event at Railroad Park, put on by the Yarmouth Historical Society, will include a selection of vintage jewelry.
Arts and crafts: This year, more than 165 craftspeople, artists and photographers will display and selling their works.
Headliner: Touted as “one of America’s most inventive string bands,” Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem, a blend of musical, mojo swing, will make its festival debut at 11 a.m. Sunday under the tent at North Yarmouth Academy.
Admission is free. Proceeds from food booths and parking lots help support more than 35 local nonprofit groups.
For more information, log on to www.clamfestival.com, or call the Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce at 846-3984.