The Lobster Roll World Championship is coming back to Thompson’s Point this summer, but with a new name and some changes intended to help avoid last year’s PR disaster.

Last year, the Down East Lobster Roll Festival, sponsored by Down East magazine, was overwhelmed with ticket holders who paid $10 to get in and then had to wait in long lines at a single lobster roll truck to buy food. Then a thunderstorm rolled in and swept everything away. At least those who purchased $100 VIP tickets to watch the “World’s Best Lobster Roll” competition indoors stayed dry and ate plenty of lobster.

This year, the Lobster Roll World Championship will be held from noon to 4 p.m. on July 7. The event will focus solely on the championship – which means no more $10 tickets – and all ticket holders will be able to sample the 10 finalists’ lobster rolls and vote for their favorites. A judge’s ticket, which includes the sampling and voting, costs $99. The $250 VIP tickets also give access to a VIP lounge with an open bar, a cocktail hour meet-and-greet with the winners from 4 to 5 p.m., drinks, dessert, a gift bag, a VIP entrance and free parking. All tickets will be sold online, in advance.

To enter the contest, chefs must submit a recipe along with a story that explains why their lobster roll is the best. Down East magazine will announce the 10 finalists on May 1. The winner of the event will be featured in Down East magazine and get a cash prize. To buy tickets or get details on entering the contest, visit

Last year’s winners were Ben and Lorin Smaha of Freshies Lobster Co. in Park City, Utah. We know, we know. It sounds like a chef from Michigan winning a Mardi Gras food festival, but relax – Ben Smaha grew up in Cape Elizabeth.

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