#TBT: A History Of The Old Port Fest With Pics From The 70’s And Remember The World’s Largest Lobster Roll?
Maine's Old Port fest signifies the start of summer in Portland, a tradition that has been going on for almost 45 years. The first Old Port Fest was back in 1973, it took place on the first Sunday in June.
Mainers gathered along the streets of the Old Port to watch the parade go by and enjoy the sights and sounds.
The Fest was held on the first Sunday in June for 36 years until organizers noticed the weather patterns usually brought rain on that particular weekend so in 2010 they moved the festival to the second Sunday in June and the weather has been perfect, mostly.
Back in 2009 after a tragic drowning death, West End neighbors started to raise money for swim lessons at the Reiche Community Center pool. Amato's, Linda Bean's and even Kraft Miracle Whip got involved. Amato's made a 70 foot sub roll, which needed it's own aluminum case for baking the roll. Linda Bean's provided the delicious lobster, and Kraft Miracle Whip donated 4 gallons of mayo. What they ended up with was a lobster roll just over 69 feet long!
The roll had to be brought in on a flat bed truck,
After the lobster roll was completed it was paraded around the Old Port Fest by a couple dozen Roller Derby skaters and volunteers.
Even though the Guinness Book of World Records refused to recognize it as the World’s Longest Lobster Roll because the lobster roll was too “provincial” for their record books, Mainers know that it was indeed the largest lobster roll ever made. The roll was cut up into chunks and sold for $20 a piece, the fund raiser collected over $7,000 to make the West End a little safer for kids with free swimming lessons at the pool, which continue to this day! A complete, delicious success.
This year's Old Port Fest will be Sunday, June 11th.