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Maine State Clam Shucking Contest competitors at the Yarmouth Clam Festival try to shuck the most clams in a two-and-a-half-minute heat. Photo Credit: Mike Leonard

YARMOUTH, MAINE — On July 16, 17, and 18, the normally quiet village of Yarmouth will swell to 15 times its size, as over 100,000 visitors flock to the 45th Annual Yarmouth Clam Festival. In 2009, attendees who registered for contests came from 13 countries and 32 of the United States.

One of Maine’s most popular summer events, this year’s Festival will delight attendees with perennially popular attractions, such as the Friday night parade, Saturday night block party and fireworks, the Clam Shucking contests, Firefighters’ Muster, the Diaper Derby and, of course, lots and lots of clams!

Here are a few of this year’s highlights and developments:

SPECIAL PARADE THEME! “Three Cheers for Champions: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow” — As always, the Friday evening parade (6:00 p.m. on Main Street) will kick off the Festival. This year, the parade’s theme honors the memory of “Herbie,” Yarmouth’s 217-year-old Champion American Elm tree, who finally succumbed last January to Dutch Elm Disease.

Frank Knight, Yarmouth’s 101-year-old retired tree warden, who spent the past 50 years of his life championing Herbie’s fight against the killer disease, will lead the parade as grand marshal. Local businesses and neighborhood groups will follow, marching through town and riding on floats to celebrate champions from every walk of life.

NEW! VALET BICYCLE PARKING — The Bicycle Coalition of Maine in cooperation with the Yarmouth Bicycle/Pedestrian Committee is offering a FREE Valet Bicycle Parking service at the Festival to encourage energy conservation, promote healthy exercise, and reduce automobile traffic congestion. Those who arrive on bicycle will have a safe and convenient place to park their bicycles in the heart of the festival.

The valet will operate all weekend just off Main Street. The coalition has provided valet parking at the Common Ground Fair and the American Folk Festival in the past, with excellent participation.

NEW! ONLINE CLAM FESTIVAL STORE — The Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce is making it easier for Festival fans to get hats, T-shirts, and other souvenirs at any time of the year from anywhere, by ordering online at www.gagear.com/yarmouth-maine/

NEW! CLAM FESTIVAL BEAD — To celebrate the Clam Festival’s 45th year, Yarmouth glass artist Sam Lawrence has designed a collectible, limited-edition Clam Festival bead to fit the popular Pandora and Troll brand charm bracelets.

NEW! CLAM FESTIVAL AND HERBIE PENDANTS — Lovell Designs of Portland has designed two pendants to be sold at this year’s Festival. A “Herbie” pendant will honor Yarmouth’s Herbie the Tree; a clam pendant will honor the Festival’s 45th year.

RETURNING! HISTORIC YARMOUTH TROLLEY TOURS — The Yarmouth Historical Society’s introduction last year of its Historic Trolley Tours was a huge hit and sold out quickly. This, being a big year in Yarmouth’s history — the Clam Festival’s 45th anniversary and the year that we lost our dear, 217-year-old tree, Herbie — is extra reason to bring the tours back for a second year. Tours are given on board Pineland Farms’ trolley, “Trina,” to make them fun as well as educational.

150 ARTISTS AND CRAFTSPEOPLE — A wide array of arts and crafts at the Festival include paintings, photography, pottery, jewelry, fiber arts, and some items that defy categorization. About 25 percent of the artists and crafters are new each year, to complement the cast of perennial favorites.

SEAFOOD GALORE! Clams, of course, are always the featured menu item at the food circle throughout the weekend, and a boatload of other seafood will also be served up: lobster stew, lobster rolls, grilled scallops, shore dinners, and fried shrimp, to name a few. A wide array of favorite foods for landlubbers includes pizza, burgers and dogs, meatball subs, home-baked desserts, the famously thirst-quenching Lime Rickeys, and much more.

OVER 40 PERFORMANCES are lined up featuring local and world-class musicians and entertainers that span a remarkable breadth of styles and talents.

A full schedule of events is available on the Yarmouth Clam Festival’s website: www.clamfestival.com/event/daily.php

Admission to Yarmouth Clam Festival events is free. Proceeds from food booths and parking lots support Yarmouth’s non-profit student, sporting, music, church, and community-service organizations. To learn more about the Yarmouth Clam Festival, visit www.clamfestival.com or call the Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce at 207-846-3984.

For More Information:

Contact Name: Lisa Perkins

Telephone Number: 207-846-3733

Website: http://www.clamfestival.com

Email: press@clamfestival.com