The Yarmouth Clam Festival takes place every summer, during the third weekend in July in the charming coastal village of Yarmouth, Maine. This summertime tradition draws visitors from all over the country who come to enjoy the music and arts, events and competition, and of course, the delicious food. Find specific information regarding directions, parking and accommodations by clicking the links above.
About the Festival
While the Yarmouth Clam Festival has grown more visible and inviting to the world beyond Yarmouth, Maine, it remains at its core a perennial bonding experience for many throughout the local community.
For some, the 48-year-old tradition, which comes alive like clockwork on the third Friday in July, provides a sense of seasonal timekeeping; for others, a centerpiece for homecoming gatherings; and for others, a reconnection with the pleasure of basic hometown charm.
The Clam Festival brings the people of Yarmouth closer through working and having fun side-by-side, giving and taking, creating and sharing, passing on traditions and making memories. And this builds a strong community.
The Festival is free and open to the public. Funds raised through food sales and parking fees are returned to the Yarmouth community through the work of participating non-profit groups in various forms, like the following:
- Student events and scholarships
- Athletic equipment, uniforms, coaches, trips, awards, and field improvements
- Eagle Scout projects and leadership training
- Contribution to area food pantries and soup kitchens
- Elderly assistance services
- Performing arts: direction, training, coaching, and instruments
- Maintenance of community parks, pathways, gardens, and meeting spaces
Clam Festival Facts
The Yarmouth Clam Festival’s inaugural event was in 1966, making 2014 the 49th Festival.
The Festival always begins the third Friday in July. The 2014 Clam Festival will be held Friday through Sunday, July 18 – 20.
More than 100,000 people are expected to attend the Festival. In 2009, contest registries included visitors from 32 states and 13 foreign countries.
The Festival is a fundraising event organized by the Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce to support non-profit organizations that benefit the community. Over 35 non-profit groups gather about 3,000 volunteers from around town to prepare food, attend food booths, park cars, keep the grounds clean, and much more.
Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine, AAA’s magazine, Parents magazine, Yankee magazine, Hallmark magazine, Saveur magazine, Outboard magazine, and TrailBlazer magazine, among others, have featured the Festival as a top-pick for summer destinations.
Over 80 different types of food and beverages are featured at the Festival’s food booths.
More than 6,000 pounds of clams, 13,500 Lime Rickeys, 6,000 lobster rolls, 2,200 pancake breakfasts, 1,500 shore dinners, 400 homemade pies, and 6,000 strawberry shortcakes are expected to be consumed at the Festival.
Over 40 musical acts and entertainers will perform on four stages.
Approximately 165 crafters, artists, and photographers display and sell their work.
Ten miles of electrical wire is run to power the Festival.
The Festival features 10 sporting events and competitions that range from a diaper derby to a world-class professional bike race.
Contests and events include the following:
- A clam-shucking contest
- A parade
- Street dancing
- Running races
- A professional bike race
- A firefighter’s muster
- A diaper derby
The record-holder for the annual clam-shucking contest shucked 25 clams per minute.
The Festival’s mile-and-a-half, hour-long parade has over 130 neighborhood floats, marching bands, antique cars, and unique entertainers and draws tens of thousands of spectators to line the entire length of Main Street.
The Festival mascot Steamer the Clam was created in 2004, and the human inside the shell is a well-kept secret.
The Clam Festival used to be the Firemen’s Field Day, and the Firefighter’s Muster is a well-preserved and well-loved part of that tradition.
Non-Profit Organizations Include:
- Baseball Boostsers
- Baseball, Softball, and Little League
- Basketball Boosters
- Boy Scout Troop #35
- Colts Soccer Club
- Community Garden
- Crew Boosters
- Downeasters Barbershop Chorus
- Field Hockey Boosters
- First Parish Congregational Church
- First Universalist Church
- Football Boosters
- Golf Boosters
- High School Senior Class
- High School Junior Class
- High School Sophomore Class
- Ice Hockey Boosters
- Lacrosse Boosters
- Lions Club
- Music Boosters
- North Yarmouth Academy
- NYA Parents Association
- Royal River Chorus
- Sacred Heart Church
- Safe Passage
- Ski Club
- Softball Boosters
- Swim Boosters
- Volleyball Boosters
- Tennis Boosters