LobsterFest Returning to Guilford Fairgrounds on Saturday for 27th Year


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GUILFORD – Summer has officially arrived, and the Rotary Club of Guilford is helping people get out of their shells to spend Saturday at the 27th annual LobsterFest. 

“It’s a fantastic event,” said Rotary Club President Dawn Jackson. “It’s one of two main fundraisers for our Rotary Club each year.”

The event will take place at the Guilford Fairgrounds at 111 Lovers Lane, from 4 to 8:30 p.m.

LobsterFest was founded by Gene Bishop, of Bishop Orchards, and is now led by his cousin’s granddaughter, Carrie Bishop Healy. The Rotary Club will be spending part of Saturday at the orchard, shucking corn and preparing potatoes for the event. 

“This event is a signature summer event on the shoreline,” Jackson said, adding that over 700 people have purchased tickets so far. 

With the Shoreline Lobster Run 5K at 10 a.m. Saturday, she is expecting that number to increase to more than 950.

“It’s a full family day with two live bands in the afternoon,” she said. “People arrive early. One neighborhood comes with 50 people. It’s their tradition to come and decorate their tables. All of the proceeds from the 5K and the LobsterFest is given back to the Guilford community whether it be a family in need or a nonprofit.”

The day kicks off with the 5K, which starts at the fairgrounds. A portion of the run’s proceeds will go toward Guilford High School’s cross country team, Jackson said. Entry fees are $35 for the run, and $75 for the run and a dinner.  

The fairgrounds’ gates for the LobsterFest dinner open at 4 p.m. Though there will be a bounce house for children and cornhole game stations, people are welcome to bring Frisbees, footballs and other family activities to enjoy on the grounds, Jackson said.

Admission is $60 for adults and $10 for children; there is a group rate for a table of eight for $550. Adults get their choice of a 1.75-pound lobster or 16-ounce New York strip steak. Entrees come with a baked potato, coleslaw, corn, a bread roll and apple pie. Children get a slice of pizza with a chocolate chip cookie and a drink.

Jackson said there will be two live bands performing throughout the afternoon – swing band Tuxedo Junction and soft rock band Jam Chowder.

For those looking to enjoy a beer, Thimble Island Brewery, Two Roads Brewery, and Whalers Brewing Company are sponsoring the event and selling drinks, she said. Athletic Brewing Company is also offering non-alcoholic beer.

“It’s an amazing undertaking that takes months of planning,” Jackson said. “The lobsters are sourced locally. The steaks are also local. Starting Saturday morning, our Rotary Club members will be at the fairgrounds. We’ll have large tanks filled with fresh water and get it started to boil.”

If attendees have trouble opening their lobsters, there will be a cracking station available.