YARMOUTH — Each year, the Yarmouth Clam Festival attracts thousands of people who enjoy carnival rides, races, food, music, arts and crafts, a parade and fireworks.
This year, one lucky person may win a new car while supporting local nonprofit organizations.
In an effort to boost support for nonprofits, the Chamber of Commerce has partnered with New England Ford Dealers to give away a 2012 Ford Focus during the 46th annual Clam Festival, which runs Friday, July 15, through Sunday, July 17.
New England Ford will also sponsor this year’s Main Street parade at 6 p.m. on July 15. The theme is Great American Inventions.
Festival Director Mark Primeau said the partnership with the car dealership is an exciting bonus this year. Tickets for the raffle can be purchased – $10 for one and $20 for three – through a secure online payment system. A portion of proceeds from online sales will support the 24 local organizations participating in the drawing, or a portion of the ticket sales can be donated to the Yarmouth Clam Festival general fund.
“I’m having a ton of fun with (the Clam Festival,)” Primeau said. “This is a great opportunity to bring people of Yarmouth together and a huge financial bonus for the nonprofits in the community.”
Primeau said people who participate in the drawing have to be from New England, 18 years old or older and have a valid driver’s license.
The drawing will be held on Sunday, July 17, at 4 p.m., he said.
New attractions include a Kid’s Zone, sponsored by L.L. Bean outside the Merrill Memorial Library, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. all weekend. The free bike valet program will continue for a second year and for the first time, festival-goers will be able to pay with credit cards at food booths.
“We are trying to find ways to become more effective, while raising revenues and helping the nonprofits raise money,” Primeau said.
Other highlights of the weekend will include the appearance of Donna (Owen) Stokes, the original Clam Queen. Stokes, who was crowned in 1965, will lead the parade as the grand marshal.
On July 16, the canoe and kayak race starts at 9 a.m. at the Town Landing. The six-mile course finishes at the Muddy Rudder restaurant.
The Kids’ Fun Run starts at 7:15 a.m. at Memorial Green, and the 30th annual Pat’s Pizza 5-mile Road Race starts at 8 a.m. at Town Hall on Main Street.
Other annual events on July 16 include the Maine State Clam Shucking contest at 11 a.m. at the Merill Memorial Library Lawn tent, and the Maine Firefighters Muster at 1 p.m. at the Memorial Green.
Events on July 17 include the 31st annual Men’s and Women’s Professional Bike Race at 9 a.m., beginning at Memorial Green.
Children through age 3 can participate in the 39th annual Diaper Derby at the Merrill Memorial Library Lawn tent at noon. Registration begins at 10 a.m. and there are three divisions for children from 1 month to 3 years old.
There will be more than 100 artists and craftspeople displaying and selling their pottery, clothing, artwork, carvings and jewelry.
Carnival rides and amusements provided by Smokey’s Greater Shows will operate starting Wednesday, July 14, at 5 p.m. and continue throughout the festival.
For more information and a schedule of events, visit www.clamfestival.com.
Director Mark Primeau holds the 2012 Clam Festival artwork designed by Betsy McLellan, outside his office in Yarmouth. The 46th annual festival opens July 15 and will include entertainment, crafts, food and other events.
The 46th annual Clam Festival opens July 15 in Yarmouth.
Races will close streets, slow traffic
YARMOUTH — Main, East Elm, School and Bridge streets will be closed from 6:30-9 a.m. Saturday, July 16, during the 30th annual Pat’s Pizza Clam Festival Classic 5-mile Road Race and Kid’s Fun Run.
During the Firefighters’ Muster, Main Street between York and School streets will be closed from 12:30-3:30 p.m.
The 31st annual Men’s and Woman’s Professional Bike Race will take place Sunday, July 17, at 9 a.m. starting at the Memorial Green on Main Street. The 3.6-mile loop has one short climb and will be 10 laps for men and six laps for women.
Main Street between East Main Street and West Elm Street will be closed Sunday from 8:30-11:30 a.m. and vehicle traffic will be restricted the day of the race. Motorists should expect delays on East Elm Street, between Main Street and Leighton Road; Leighton Road; North Road between Leighton Road and East Main Street; and East Main Street, between North Road and Main Street.
During the Diaper Derby, School Street will be closed from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
For more information visit the Clam Festival website, www.clamfestival.com or contact the Police Department at 846-3333.
— Amy Anderson