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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Yarmouth Clam Festival 2013

If you are looking for a fun free family event the third weekend in July, then the Yarmouth Clam Festival  is definitely the place to go. It was another just Gabrian and I weekend so we convinced our friends Myranda and Owen to join us on our adventure.

After doing some research on their website we knew that Saturday was the day we wanted to go. They had lots of great activities scheduled for that day. There was going to be clam shucking contest, fireman muster, horse wagon rides, concerts, and fireworks. I will tell you that we only made it to the clam shucking contest but we had such a great time participating in other activities that we don't feel like we missed anything. It was also extremely hot and humid out again so we feared that we would just be miserable but it wasn't too bad. When we were in the shade and had a breeze it was fairly pleasant. We did guzzle a lot of water though.

We started off the morning with Myranda and Owen meeting us at our house so we could take just one car there. I had directions to the festival taken off their site and we were on our way. I knew that they had several parking lots that you could pay to park in. These were all run by non-profit organizations and the closer to the festival the higher the price. I think the most expensive lot we saw was $10 and that was literally in the middle of the festival. We headed to the free parking lot that was sponsored by Delorme Map Company in their parking lot. They paid to have free shuttles to bring us to the festival. Online it said they would run every 30 minutes. When we arrived a sign said they run every 15 minutes and we felt they ran so frequently it was every 5 minutes.  The shuttles were big yellow school busses and the boys were in heaven. It was definitely on their bucket list to ride on one and it was all they could talk about all day long. Here they are in all their glory.

We were dropped in the craft section. I hadn't realized what a big craft area they would have. They had 100's of vendors. I didn't spend very much time looking around because I didn't want to get tempted and buy something I just didn't have the money for. I did take a couple of pictures for your viewing pleasure.

When we first got off the bus we were trying to get our bearings. We came across an older gentlemen sitting on a chair on the sidewalk. The boys had a fun time chatting him up. He gave us directions to get to the Clam shucking contest. When we were ready leave the man told the boys he had something for them to get a treat for themselves. We thought he was going to give them a quarter but he actually gave them $5 each. Gabrian and Owen were so excited to have their own money. As excited as the boys were, I felt the man was just as excited to give them the money.

We were finally ready. I got Gabrian in his stroller and Myranda got Owen back packed up.

We found the tent with the contest shortly and were fortunate to find a table to sit at to watch.

The way it worked was that the contestants had 2 minutes to shuck as many clams as they could. It had to be the whole clam and there couldn't be pieces of the shell. Whoever had the most clams at the end was the winner. They had 3 categories of contestants. There was the media group, the pro group, and the amateur group. In the pro group I saw a woman shuck her clams so fast that she did one every 2 seconds. It was amazing how fast her hands were moving.
After the first group we decided that we were hungry and we wanted to beat the crowds before the lines got too bad. Gabrian I were up first because he was the most vocal about being hungry.

I was surprised how many food choices there were. They had many variations of clams, sea foods of all types, standard bbq food, and pizza and chicken nuggets. I will tell you that no one in our group had clams...I know we should be so ashamed to go to a clam festival and have no clams. I found the clam offerings on the high side and I was really in the mood for a sandwich of some sort.

We first looked at all the booths to decide what we wanted.

I went with a grilled scallop roll and a soft pretzel.

The scallop roll was amazing. It was $9.00 and originally thought it was expensive. However, once eaten I felt it was worth every penny. When I purchased the roll it was premade and kept in a steamer and I wasn't sure how fresh it would taste. Within my first bite the entire bottom of the roll gave out and fell onto the plate. I have no silverware with me and had to eat with my fingers. The scallops were cooked perfectly and just so delicious. They were moist and sweet and with no grittiness at all. I was going to bypass the bread because I assumed it would just be really soggy but took one bite. It was fantastic because the scallop juice soaked into the bread and made it scrumptious.

My soft pretzel ($3) was the standard pretzel but it gave me my salt fix. One funny thing was that I think I used up the remainder of their yellow mustard. I really had to work hard to get the amount I had on my plate. I was surprised that it was early Saturday afternoon and they had to get through the rest of the day and Sunday with almost no mustard. I hope they sent someone to the store or they were going to have unhappy customers!

Typical Gabrian went with the obvious choice at a seafood festival.

This combo cost me $4 and he enjoyed it. Sort of expensive for a hotdog but not really bad in the grand scheme of things. He enjoyed it and ate almost all of it.

After lunch, Myranda treated us to a Lime Rickey ($3). I have never had one before but it was so refreshing on a hot summer day. There was a whole lime squeezed into it. It reminded me of a melted popsicle served on ice. I love lime popsicles so it was a great treat for me.

I had to wrestle it from Gabrian to get my share of the drink. He became sucky lips once he got his first taste of the drink.

After our delicious lunch we were on the hunt to find the horse wagon rides. We followed the sound of their bells.

We had a few spotting's of the horses.

We finally found them in this beautiful park like area. Only to find out that they had just run the last turn and the horses would be taking a break for the afternoon and wouldn't be back until 4. The bright side of this debacle was that we found this awesome park that we spent the rest of our afternoon.

They had different booths set up and several farm animals. The Dark Hollow Bottling Company was performing the entire time we were there. It was my first time hearing them but it won't be the last. They were really great and I enjoyed many of their songs.

We also spent time in the adjacent area climbing over the antique construction equipment. We also purchased a gourmet popsicle. It melted faster than any popsicle I have ever seen. Here is my photo montage of the time we spent in the park.

We were very thirsty and tried to stay as hydrated as possible.

Owen felt like Gabrian wasn't getting enough water and helped him correct that problem.

Gabrian enjoying his popsicle.

Firehouse Arts had projects for the kids. They were adding wool to the sheep and there was a fish that they could try on.


We all had our palms read for $.50. I am not sure if she was accurate but I want the life she said I was going to have.

Lots of fun farm animals to see!

The boys favorite part was climbing on and around the construction equipment. It felt like we were walking on the surface of the sun. Sadly for the boys we did not stay there for too long.

After the walk the boys took a rest in the shade (this lasted for about 7 minutes).

We then decided to do a photo shoot to try to get the boys in a jump pose. Myranda was way better at this then I was. This is the best shot I got out of the bunch.

Gabrian wanted to go to the booth where he could win a prize. He had to answer a question about healthy living. His question was where in Maine could he go hiking. He answered butterfly. Not sure where that is but according to Gabrian there is fantastic hiking there. He got a prize of a water bottle anyway.

Garbage to Garden was also represented in this park. They are a great organization that collect your food waste each week and turn it into compost. They provide the bucket you put the food into and pick it up each week and give you a new bucket. The cost is $11 a month and you have the opportunity to volunteer each month to reduce that cost. If you are in the area they are definitely worth checking out.

At this point we decided to head out and get some ice cream on our way home. We had perfect timing and a shuttle bus pulled up as soon as we arrived at the shuttle stop. The boys had another great ride and fortunately didn't notice the giant carnival we passed on the way to the car. It looked like a fun time for people that want to go on rides. I wasn't prepared to put out that kind of money and it was just too hot.

Once back at the car we headed to Maple Creamery located at 881 Route 1, Yarmouth, ME. It was an organic gelato shop. We thought it was a good sign because the Local Sprouts delivery truck was picking up a giant order. Some of the flavors I remember are strawberry rhubarb (Gabrian's choice), chocolate (Owen's choice), salted caramel almond (Myranda's choice), toasted coconut (my choice), caramelized banana (my second choice), maple, sweet cream, and many others. I loved both of mine but the banana definitely won out. Next time I think I would just get that one. I had the small size for $3.25 and Gabrian had the kids size for $2.50. They had pints to take home for $6.

We all gave it a huge thumbs up and look forward to our next trip there. I would highly recommend stopping there the next time you are in the Yarmouth area.

We arrived home and was exhausted after a truly awesome day. I know where I will be the third weekend of July in 2014.