YARMOUTH – The 39th annual Yarmouth Clam Festival will be a three-day event that includes a Friday night parade, free performances, a juried craft show, an art show, athletic competitions, a carnival and a variety of free family-oriented activities.

The festival is scheduled Friday to Sunday, July 16 to 18, along Main Street.

“Ignite Your Imagination – Books on Parade” is this year’s parade theme. More than 50,000 people attend the parade each year, organizers say, and float entries come from local and stale businesses, as well as neighborhood groups. Marching bands and Shrine units also participate. The parade kicks off on Main Street at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 16.

Clams are the featured menu item in the food court, other foods, such as pizza, pies and shortcake, are available. Seafood lovers will also find lobster stew, lobster rolls and a shore dinner. Proceeds from the festival help to support a variety of nonprofits in the town of Yarmouth. Local nonprofits staff the food booths and parking lots to raise funds for their causes.

A traditional New England Hand Tub Muster has been added to the festival this year. This reenactment of the first muster held in Bath in 1849 will be performed at 1 p.m. Saturday.

In another event, visitors can get close to more than 200 butterflies in the Butterfly House in the Railroad Park area along Main Street. A butterfly release ceremony is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday.

Local musical talent will play in the park area throughout the weekend. And the popular Living Statues return to the park this year all day on Saturday.

The Maine State Clam Shucking Contest, a Pro-Am event, will start at 11 a.m. Saturday. Local on-air TV celebrities from WCSH, WGME and WMTW will start it with their own friendly competition. The professional and amateur contests will follow.

Free entertainment is available all weekend on three different stages.

These will include the Bellamy Jazz Band, Devonsquare, the Don Campbell Band, Denny Breau, Sara Cox and the Chestones, ’60’s Invasion and the Royal River Chorus of the Sweet Adelines during the weekend.

For a full list of performers, go to www.clamfestival.com.For more information about the festival, visit the Web site or call (207) 846-3984.

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