YARMOUTH – On July 18, 19, and 20, this normally quiet town will swell in size as nearly 120,000 visitors flock to the 43rd Annual Yarmouth Clam Festival. People come for a cook-off, Friday night parade, Saturday night fireworks, clam shucking contests, a firefighters’ muster, performances by noted musicians and entertainers and, of course, lots and lots of clams.

Festival highlights:

• The festival’s popular cook-off, this year with a “Maine ingredient” theme,” will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 17, on the North Yarmouth Academy lawn. Appetizers will feature a classic Maine ingredient, such as fiddleheads, haddock, blueberries or maple syrup. Local restaurants put their best dishes forward and attendees get to sample the entries and vote for their favorite. Local musician s will entertain the crowd.

• Celebrity chef Jon Ashton will give a clam-cooking demonstration from 1 to 2 p.m. Friday, July 18, in the NYA tent. He will present three recipes with a variety of Cabot cheeses: spicy clam and cheddar fritters, half-shell hunter’s clams with roasted red pepper tapenade, and roasted tomato and clam fettuccine.

• The Battle of the Cover Bands invitational will pit local teen cover bands against one another between 3 and 5 p.m. Friday at Railroad Park.

• For the second year, local students and businesses will present an educational exhibit featuring environmentally conscious and clean energy alternatives.

• More than 150 craftspeople, artists and photographers will display and sell their work.

• Local and world-class musicians and entertainers will give more than 40 performances.

• The Kids’ Fun Run, on Main Street at Memorial Green, will be held in two age categories: 3- to 6-year-olds and 7- to 12-year-olds.

• Clams are, of course, the featured menu item at the food circle, but there are also many other offerings: lobster stew, lobster rolls, shore dinners, fried shrimp, pizza, chicken fajitas, home-baked desserts and thirst-quenching Lime Rickeys.

Admission is free. Proceeds from food booths and parking lots support Yarmouth’s nonprofit student, sporting, music, church and community-service organizations.

For more details, visit www.clamfestival.com or call the Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce at 846-3984.


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