Lobster Festival to bring together culture, community and culinary activities

Nancy MacPhee nmacphee@journalpioneer.com
Published on April 14, 2015

Don Quarles, Lobster Festival executive director, shows off a LEGO lobster, made up of more than 50 pieces of the blocks. LEGO lobster kits will be among the events and activities on offer during July’s Summerside Lobster Festival. 

©Nancy MacPhee/Journal Pioneer

SUMMERSIDE — Don Quarles is promising a week of culture, community activities and culinary delights, mixed in with a bit of fun and, of course, some lobster.

Quarles, the executive director of the Summerside Lobster Festival, announced the lineup for the weeklong event Tuesday at Credit Union Place.

“While the snow was falling, there was much planning being done for this year’s festival behind the scenes or behind the snow banks.”

Last year, the event was overhauled, with Quarles coming in and the former carnival rebranded to the Summerside Lobster Festival. Several new components were added along with a new location — Green’s Shore — for some events.

The 2015 edition of the festival is a mix of community events, cultural activities and culinary offerings, from celebrity chef demonstrations and food samplings, to a mini midway and standards like lobster trap and cardboard boat races.

The week also includes several themed days, such as an Acadian Day, Mi’kmaq Cultural Day, and the return, for a second year, of the DiverseCity Festival.

Partnering, respectively, on the themed days are the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of P.E.I., La Belle-Alliance, and the P.E.I. Association for Newcomers to Canada.

New are an outdoor entertainment stage at Green’s Shore, the mini midway, vendors and artisans’ displays, and lobster boat races in Summerside Harbour.

Back are the Kids Summer Fun Zone, sandcastle building, geo-caching, musical entertainment, family outdoor movie nights, along with festival standards like the lobster trap challenge, cardboard boat races, and the soapbox derby.

More emphasis is going to be placed on the star of the week — the lobster — with culinary demonstrations, samplings and contests, in addition to traditional lobster dinners and, thanks to LEGO Canada, lobster LEGO kits for youngsters to assemble.

Go Lobster also returns for the month of July. Last year, 18 specialty lobster menu items were featured at restaurants in Summerside, with thousands dishes served.

An exit survey was conducted last year of visitors to the festival, and Quarles said the 2015 Lobster Festival is a reflection of what people had to say — good and bad.

“We listened to the community and talked about things like access to locations,” he said. “We are going to have shuttles running from Spinnakers Landing to the CUP to Green’s Shore and it will circulate throughout the week. We are really excited about that.”

It will be a festival, Quarles hopes, that offers something for everyone.

“We are trying to pull as many things as we can together in order to do that,” he added. “My job is to help people create memories.”