Beattie Quintal of Waldoboro competes in the clam shucking contest at the Yarmouth Clam Festival in 2017. File photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

The parade, clam shucking contest, classic car show, live music and other Yarmouth Clam Festival favorites are all scheduled to return next summer from July 15-17.

After being canceled for two years in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are expected to be few changes at the 55th annual festival aside from some COVID-19 precautions.

“Because the event isn’t a ticketed or gate entrance, it’s more of a challenge to manage the number of people, but if that’s something we need to take into consideration then we’ll figure it out,” Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Adrienne Nardi said. “Overall, we’re hoping to go forward as usual.”

Nardi said if there are state guidelines or mandates pertaining to the coronavirus in July, organizers are “more adept” at figuring out how to safely hold an event, rather than cancel the festival completely again.

Planned events include a craft show, a carnival, over 40 live musical acts, a pie eating contest, a kid’s fun run, a firefighter’s competition, K9 demonstration, professional bike race and fireworks. 2022 parade and antique car applications will be available in January.

“I hope people get a sense of what the clam festival is truly about, and that’s supporting our local nonprofits,” Nardi said. “It’s a very important piece to our nonprofits to meet their budgets and be able to do everything they do.”

The festival usually draws over 100,000 people and, according to Nardi, brings in anywhere from $200,000 to $400,000 for nonprofits that include Yarmouth Scouts, Royal River Chorus and the Yarmouth Lions Club.

The Scouts often use the money raised at the festival to “subsidize each Scout’s expense on high adventure trips,” said Troop 35 Scoutmaster Joan Dollarhite.  Past festivals allowed the Scouts to build a reserve fund, which helped them get through the two-year hiatus, she said.

Troop 35 is excited to be back at the festival next summer, not only for fundraising purposes but to interact with the community again, Dollarhite said.

The Lions Club’s food booth at the festival, featuring fried seafood, chicken fingers and fries, is the club’s biggest fundraiser, contributing  50% of its financial needs.

“Our Club plans to participate fully in the ’22 Clam Festival,” Lions Club Secretary Judy Knaub said. “We usually have an entry in the parade that also educates the public about all of the great things that our club supports in our community, including scholarships, donations to the Yarmouth food bank, the heating fund and support to other nonprofits in Yarmouth and in Maine.”

More information on the festival can be found at clamfestival.com.

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