YARMOUTH — New staff at the Chamber of Commerce has added new ideas to this weekend’s 52nd annual Clam Festival.
Adrienne Nardi was hired as the chamber’s executive director in December. She was followed shortly after by Communication and Marketing Director Amy Davis and Mark Barbalias, events and sponsorship director.
“Its been an exciting new time,” Nardi said. “I’ve seen (the festival) before, but (it is) certainly a different thing to experience the building of it. Across the board the entire town volunteers to support the festival in some way. That is amazing.”
On Sunday, the streets of Yarmouth will echo the sound of 20 antique automobile engines roaring during the first-ever Maine Street Rumble sponsored by Revolutionary Gas & Tire.
What is billed as a “one-of-a-kind” auto show will begin around 12:45 p.m. Afterwards, the automobiles will be parked on Main Street between Merrill Memorial Library and Town Hall from 1-4 p.m.
“(The auto show is) a great opportunity to put something in place to keep people in the area (Sunday afternoon),” Nardi said.
Also new to the festival will be an expanded kid zone on the lawn of Merrill Memorial Library, including games, face painting, and a climbing wall.
The chamber has also teamed up with Circus Maine summer camp to bring aerial acts to the festival stage each day, along with a steady stream of performances and demonstrations by musicians, magicians and educators.
An air-conditioned video game trailer will be set up on the lawn, serving as a space for kids and families to cool off. According to Nardi, access to the trailer will be available for a ticket price of $5 per half hour.
She said she and her team look forward to using what they’re learned from their first festival to build on the great tradition that already exists.
And speaking of tradition, Clam Festival regulars can expect to see all of their favorite events back on the schedule this year.
On Friday, events will be bookended by the opening ceremony at 10 a.m. on Memorial Green and the classic-movie-themed parade Friday from 6-7:30 p.m.
Ed and Sue Ferrell are this year’s parade grand marshals. The Ferrell family owned and operated The Down East Village & Motel on Route 1 from 1949-2016, when they retired. The property will soon be the headquarters of Patriot Insurance.
In January the Ferrells received the Beacon of Business Award from the chamber for their dedication and commitment to the community.
The Kid’s Fun Run will be held on Saturday at 7:15 a.m., followed immediately by the Pat’s Pizza 36th annual 5-mile road race, starting at 8 a.m. on Main Street at Memorial Green and ending at the same place.
The Maine State Clam Shucking contest will begin on Saturday at 11 a.m. under the Memorial Green Tent. This year’s “celebrity shuckers” are Lori Voornas and Ryan Gavin from WJBQ, Travis Lee and Ted McInerney from WMTW, Amanda Hill and Caroline Cornish from WCSH, and Marissa Bodnar and Jon Chrisos from WGME.
Firefighting teams will return on Saturday at 1 p.m. to compete in events such as a bucket brigade, firefighter suit-up, and an old-fashioned hose-pull contest for the annual Firefighters’ Muster Competition.
Saturday wraps up at 9:15 p.m. with fireworks.
The 37th Annual Clam Festival Men’s and Women’s Professional Bike Race will kick off the final day of the festival at 9 a.m. Sunday. The 3.6 mile loop starts and finishes on Main Street in front of Memorial Green.
And finally, the much-anticipated Diaper Derby and 6th Annual Kids Fun Ride will both take place at noon on Sunday.
Joseph Munoz put the finishing touches on his carnival game Monday, July 17, in advance of this year’s Yarmouth Clam Festival. Munoz, from New York, said he has been part of the Clam Festival carnival for about 50 years.
This year’s Yarmouth Clam Festival poster is based on “Rinse Cycle,” a work by Lea Peterson, who is the festival’s featured artist for the second year in a row.
On Monday, July 17, carnival games and rides sprang up on Bennett Field in preparation for the Clam Festival’s annual carnival.